Posture plays an important part in walking speed and ability to walk energetically. Due to injury or illness not everyone will be able to change their walking gait and I wouldn’t advise that everyone immediately goes out the the door and starts altering how they walk. However this is something you can practice inside using a kitchen counter or wall as a support to get used to the movement. Good walking posture allows you to take full breaths, engage your core muscles, and use your leg and bottom muscles for a natural walking stride
- Try to stand up nice and tall, imagine a string attached to the top of your head, feel it lift you up from your hips so you are tall and straight. This might be quite exhausting to maintain at first so just practice doing it for a little while at a time.
- Try and keep your chin parallel to the ground, whilst focusing your eyes 10-20 feet in front of you this will ensure there is no tension in your upper body or strain in your neck.
- Let your shoulders relax with shoulders slightly back.
- Your arms can lend power to your walking and act as a balance to your leg motion. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and with each step the arm opposite your forward foot comes straight back (so the movement is coming from your shoulder). Your hand should not cross the middle of your body. If you find arm motion tiring do it for a couple of minutes and then let your arms relax and swing naturally at your sides.
- To recap correct walking gait.
- Strike the ground first with heel
- Roll through the step from heel to toe
- Push off with toes
- Bring the back leg forward to strike again with the heel
Practice both the walking step and posture by a kitchen counter, do a few steps and then stop and relax.
Note: If you are practising posture by marching on the spot then the foot placement should be toes first, roll through the ball of foot and then the heel (so still needing that movement in the ankle)
Ankle mobility is key to being able to use that walking technique which will be covered in the next post.
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