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. He tells you how to deal with this.
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. The front hamstring then contracts in an unusual way.
"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 it!"
3 ways to make this pain nothing more than a bad memory
If your hamstrings are in pain, don't hesitate to stop your session and resume it after stretching, for example after 15 minutes of stretching exercises.
Sit on your heels while keeping your back very straight.
Gently lift your heels, one after the other. 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 the basis of 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. Doing fitness walking should remain gradual.
"Build up gradually so that enjoyment becomes your best walking buddy!"