Aching calf muscles! Stretching to avoid this

When you start fitness walking, many of you experience pain in the front of your legs. When this pain is in your shins, it's an inflammation of a muscle on which great demands are placed during walking sessions: the anterior hamstring. Have no fear!

Emmanuel Lassalle, cross country walker, who came second place in the Paris-Colmar 2014, knows this well. Here's his explanation of how to curb this ache, principally by stretching the lower legs properly.


Where does this pain come from?

When picking up speed, the upward bending of your foot naturally increases in order to hit the ground and start the movement with your heel. Your lower legs will therefore contract in a way they're not accustomed to.

"It's normal to feel this kind of pain when you start doing fitness walking, you need some time to adapt compared to everyday walking. The hamstring needs to bulk up. So, don't panic, all walkers who do fitness walking regularly, whether athletically or not, go through the same thing! "

Do the right stretches 

If your legs are aching, don't hesitate to stop your session and take a moment to stretch, for example with a 15-minute warm-up, before setting off again.

• Put your weight on your heels, keeping your back nice and straight

• Gently lift your knees up, each in turn. Hold this position for 30 seconds. You can repeat this several times to completely stretch out your front hamstrings.

You can also repeat these exercises at the end of your session.

• Stay hydrated!

Hydration is fundamental to your session.

"I recommend you drink water every 15 minutes so that your muscles can better drain toxins. If your session lasts more than 1.5 hours, opt for an energy drink to give your body the fuel it needs! "


• Listen to your body!

Walking should continue to be a source of gentle exercise if your goal is well-being and fun, so don't ever force it. Your fitness walking progress should remain gradual.

"Build up gradually so that enjoyment becomes your best walking buddy! "