I’ve been doing it all wrong !

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A couple of days ago, on my night-time circuits at work, I decided to try something a little different.

Instead of my usual style of arms flapping like some speed-walking chicken, I thought that I’d try using my arms. After a mile or so of flapping-chicken stylee, I brought the arms into the equation.

This ISN’T me !

The effect was amazing – I immediately felt as though I was walking quicker and checking the GPS afterwards was delighted to discover that I actually was.

This morning, I thought that I’d be a bit more scientific about it and see how much an effect using my arms actually made.

I put my Heart Rate (HR) monitor around my chest and walked my usual 4 miler at work. The results were…

  • 4 Miles
  • 12:50 per mile – 4.68 mph
  • Cadence 71
  • Avg HR  114

Compared to a recent, flappy-chicken, walk, my speed increased by 0.3mph. I must have been working harder as my HR was up from 107 to 114 (now in the fat burning zone) and my cadence was up from 67 to 71 (an extra 8 steps per minute or 100 per mile).

Looking around on the internet for some explanation of this phenomenon, I found this on ‘Walking About’ website (LINK) …

  • Arm motion can lend power to your walking, burning 5-10% more calories and acting as a balance to your leg motion.
  • Bend your elbow 90 degrees.
  • Hands should be loose in a partially closed curl, never clenched.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body – don’t “chicken wing.”
  • Your forward hand should not cross the center point of your body.
  • Your hand when coming forward should be kept low, not higher than your breastbone. 

So there you have it. An added bonus is that my hands shouldn’t swell after a long walk.

It feels a bit different but I dare say that I’ll get used to it.

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