Monday, March 30, 2009

Race Walking - Hip Drills

“If racewalking is not popular in the Philippines it’s your job to make it so! By walking in the local running races you are a visible ambassador of racewalking. Don’t be afraid to be vocal” exerts from an email to Amado Castro by DAVE McGOVERN a globe-trotting racewalking coach and a member of the US National Racewalk Team with a master’s degree in sport science from the United States Sports Academy. For his complete details visit his website

To follow Dave’s advice I thought of presenting a series of video drills that would guide interested individual to take up the sport. Having thought of the above, it was then my task to tap a resource person who should be well knowledgeable on Race Walking. Coach SATURINO A. SALAZAR is one of the only two Filipino IAAF Level 4 coaches (the other being Coach Ferdinand Espejo). Furthermore, Coach Salazar is a bronze medallist in the 16th SEA Games in Jakarta Indonesia for 50km Race Walking. Coach Salazar is as well dedicated to the sport offering his knowledge and experience to beginners so should you be interested to learn systematically do not hesitate to approach him at Ultra Oval or you could contact me and I can provide you his mobile number.

For us to proceed, we need first to define what is Race Walking;

- Race walking is a progression of steps so taken that the walker makes contact with the ground so that no visible (to human eye) loss of contact occurs.

- The advancing leg must be straightened (i.e., not bent at the knee) from the moment of first contact with the ground until in the vertical upright position.

Race Walking Demo

Using your legs properly get you moving, but to go really fast you must learn to use your hips correctly. The hips are the body’s primary source of locomotion. When we rotate the hips forward, the swinging leg is pulled off the ground. As we repeatedly pivot the hips forward, they act as the body’s motor, propelling it forward one step at a time. Knowing then the importance of the proper hip motion, it is but of utmost importance that we remember the following drills to develop the flexibility, elasticity and increase range of motion.

I herewith present 7 drills that would get your hips in the proper motion;
Drill No. 1
Drill No. 2
Drill No. 3
Drill No. 4a
Drill No. 4b
Drill No. 5
Drill No. 6
Drill No.7

With the lack of proper hip motion immediate consequence is it slows a walker down;
Wrong Hip Motion

With proper hip motion by actively swinging the hip forward lengthens the stride from the top of the legs while increasing stride length behind the body.
Proper Hip Motion

Lastly, improving technique takes more than just knowing what to do. Walkers must develop and maintain flexibility to gain the full benefit of hip motion.

Again, to quote Dave McGovern's email "By the way, there were three walkers from the Philippines at the 2001 World Cup Racewalking in Turino, so you're not alone!" I recently found out that two of the three Dave McGovern was refering to are personally known to me MICHAEL EMBUEDO and SATURNIO SALAZAR small world!


  1. Yes Sir;
    Its so nice to see that we can teach people who really want to do Race Walking as a Sport.
    All we need here is a well discipline, committed,individual. There is no doubt the Philippines is able to produce world class atheletes in this event in the near future.

    coach titus

  2. Coach Titus - On any endeavor commitment is a must and with commitment support is required with both the sum is success.

  3. I just started race walking for my high school, and these exercises have really helped me. I've never quite understood how the hips are supposed to move, but you've really cleared things up for me. Thank you & good luck with your endeavors!

  4. Would hav loved to meet up with u wen u were here short while ago n hav u shown me these exercises. I'm race walk chairman n trying hard to revive tis sport which has declined in popularity in recent hrs. Appreciate if u 'll let me know wen u next visit. Leesan.

  5. Dear Leesan - Thanks for visiting. Will keep in mind regards

  6. We r organizing a run & walk team c'ships 18.12.2011. Perhaps you can send a team or 2 to join in the fun. Pls see website www.race Cheers. Leesan