Sunday, October 02, 2005
Uphill & Downhill Technique
When you are walking up and down hills you need to adapt your basic walking technique as follows:
- Lean into the hill, the steeper the hill the more the lean.
- Lean from the hips as opposed to leaning over by bending your spine forward.
- Maintain your walking pace (some instructors say accelerate)
- Use strong arms - The stronger your arm action the more effort will be transfered from your legs
- Protect your back - Pull in your abdominal muscles eg draw your navel (tummy button) towards your spine and maintain a natural arch in the lower back
- Control your breathing. Many people get breathless due to poor breathing technique eg they take short shallow breaths. Always take slow deep breaths - Fill your lungs with air by expanding your ribs and then let the breath out slowly (practice this whilst seated in a chair).
- Bend your knees / sit / lean back. The steeper the hill the more you bend / sit / lean
- Reduce your speed.
- Strong arms - The harder you push your pole tips into the ground the more they assist the 'braking action' during your descent
- Plant you heel first (toes raised). The steeper the descent the more you dig your heels into the ground to slow your descent.
Note: the pole tips still stay behind you when walking downhill