It’s all in the hips. (Or should I say, race walkers do it with more hip action!) Proficient race walking technique requires excellent range of motion in the hips. Stretching properly increases this range, thereby enhancing hip-motion effectiveness. Of course, stretching also helps reduce injuries—in this case, to an essential component of a powerful stride.
The first hip stretch, though simple, requires a reasonably high curb. Stand at the curb with one leg on and the other hanging over it. Now, lower the hanging leg while keeping both legs straight and your foot parallel to the ground; feel the stretch in the hip opposite the curb. Repeat the exercise for the other hip.
While the second hip stretch presented is actually more effective, this hip stretch is excellent for wet days or in the middle of a workout or race.