What is good form for moving my arms when walking?

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When you are walking you should have your arms slightly bent. A good way to envision would be to have your arms bent at a 90 degree angle. This will help give you momentum to pump your arms as you walk. You may have your arms bent slightly less but this will depend on your comfort level.  Be sure to shake your arms out periodically to allow blood to flow to all extremities.

If you take a look at my bodyweight warm-up sequence video on my ShareCare page you will see that the first movement I'm doing is with my arms. This movement is called "Scapular setting."

This is a technique I learned from the NY Jets' physical therapist during a workshop for my tier III training at Equinox, Boyd Dyer. The movement involves making a field goal with your thumbs, elevating your arms and shoulders to the point where your biceps touch your ears, and then outwardly facing your palms as you make a big circle dropping your arms way out to your sides.

What this movement accomplishes is resetting your scapulae (shoulder blades) back into their proper location relieving upper back / neck tension and loosening up breathing musculature. Along with doing so, large and small muscle groups in the shoulder, rib cage, upper back, and neck area are loosened to a point where muscular balance (length-tension relationships) is temporarily regained.

I have clients do this as a movement preparation because the shoulders are a very injury prone area and resetting muscles and bones to a point of balance there is a great starting point for safe movement.

Try doing this movement 10 consecutive times as frequently as you'd like while you are walking; it feels great and accomplishes a world of good!

Your arms can propel you forward giving more power to your walk, thereby burning more calories.  Your arms should be kept close to your body at a 90 angle.  Hands relaxed, and not clenched as this will raise your blood pressure.  Do not cross the forward arm over your body, keep them going straight forward and back like a piston. If you get tired in this position, let them drop for a minute and bring them back up again.

Continue Learning about Walking Biomechanics

Walking Biomechanics

Walking Biomechanics

Walking around at any given time, you may not think too much about your strides, posture, breathing or arm movement. When you walk for fitness, your form can affect your walks and even contribute to your risk for injury. Learn mor...

e about proper walking form with expert advice from Sharecare.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.