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Speed Walking

What is Speed Walking?


Updated August 05, 2012

Racewalkers Wang Zhen, Li Jianbo and Niu Wenbin

Racewalkers Wang Zhen, Li Jianbo and Niu Wenbin

Getty Images Sports / Ian Walton
Speed walking is a general term for fast walking. Speed walking may mean a variety of fast walking styles and techniques.
  • Olympic-style Racewalking
    Racewalking is a specific technique where the knee is straight and unbent from the time the forward foot hits the ground until it passes underneath the body. One foot is in contact with the ground at all times. Racewalking technique results in a rolling hip action. Arm motion is used to enhance speed. How to Racewalk
  • Power Walking
    Power walking is a general technique of walking without the formal racewalking style, but using arm motion for speed. Sloppy examples of this technique are seen with exaggerated arm motion that does not actually promote speed walking. Some forms of power walking use hand weights in an attempt to burn more calories or build upper body strength.
  • Fast Walking
    Walkers can build speed without formal racewalking technique by using good posture, rolling through their step, pushing off powerfully, not overstriding, using appropriate arm motion, and using speed walking drills. Speed Walking Technique
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