RACEWALKING AND NORMAL WALKING ANALYSIS

  • Aluisio O.V. Ávila
  • Ana C.D. Klavdianos
  • Eliane F. Manfio
  • Federico Viollaz
  • John P. Nasser
  • José C.P. Fonseca
  • Mario C. Andrade
  • Alberto C. Amadio
Keywords: gait, racewalking, walking, biomechanics

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The purpose of the present study was to observe biomechanical variations in racewalking, starting from normal walking and continuing on up to a maximum racewalking performance supported by the athlete. Tests were carried out on a women’s racewalking team who represents Santa Catarina State at national competitions in Brazil. A GaitwayTM instrumented treadmill system was used to verify the differences between normal walking and racewalking. A few studies have been made of race walkers. Some physiological aspects indicated that the speed at which racewalking and running become equally efficient is similar to the crossover speed for conventional walking and running (Hagberg & Coyle, 1984). Another important study was done by Morgan & Martin (1986), who showed the effects of stride length alterations on racewalking economy. Their results support the hypothesis that trained subjects select locomotion patterns that are nearly optimal in terms of the aerobic demands. Cairns et al. (1986) determined that the racewalking gait exhibits some biomechanical characteristics which are different from the walking gait or running. Recently, Brisswalter et al. (1996) suggested that in well trained walkers the energy cost of walking increases with exercise duration, but walkers are able to maintain the same stride duration after the test when treadmill speed is controlled.