Hi. In this section we are going to cover the
basic walk. What I mean by the basic walk is just a stroll, like we be strolling down the street.
So not powerwalking, racewalking, anything like, that just a basic stroll. And we're not going to
cover a lot of the anatomy. First, I want to just get some basics so you can get yourself moving.
Alright, so the first thing I do when I take patients out in the hall and try to have them walk
is, first I watch them walk, and when I come back I have them try to connect their body movement-
upper body with their lower body movement.
What that means is pay attention to the swing of the
arms and how it relates to the swing of the legs when we walk. The arm on the opposite side of the
swing leg should be swinging forward. When my left leg goes forward, my right arm should go forward.
When my right leg goes forward, my left arm should go forward. If you're walking and you have no arm
swing, or your right leg and your right arm are going together, that means you've got some problem
that needs to be corrected. So, what I want you to do and practice as an exercise is, try to focus on
standing with two feet together, and then decide what foot you want to start walking with. We're
going to start with the left foot and see if you can walk and naturally have the right arm swing
with it. So, we're going the left foot first, right arm first. After you've done that for
about five times and you get it consistent, what I want you to do is step with the right
When you go with the right foot, the left arm should go with it. So just practice
starting. Just take one step or maybe two steps and see if you can get coordinated. Once you've
taken a couple steps, then go ahead and walk a longer distance and see if you can walk in
a relaxed manner and have your arm swing. Now, a lot of people when they teach walking
talk about swinging the arms, and they talk about active swinging of the arms. The arms should not
swing on an active basis, meaning you shouldn't be trying to swing your arms.
When you walk, the
arms should swing naturally on their own. Why is that? The arms swing because of the rotation
of the core. That's what happens when we walk normally. Our core is rotating, and that rotation
is passively swinging the arms. Now, when I walk, you can't always see that rotation. If I'm walking
forward, it seems like my body is just flat, but that's not the case. So, what's going on
and why can't we see what's happening with the core.
What's going on is I've got two sections
to my abdominal core. I've got upper. The upper abdominal core is going to be turning my upper
torso, or my chest, my thoracic spine. And then I've got my lower abdominal core, and that's going
to be rotating my pelvis and my lumbar spine. They move independently from one another, but they
move at the same time as one another. When I walk, what happens is the right side, if I'm going
to step forward with my left foot, the right side of my upper torso turns counterclockwise,
while at the same time the right side of my lower torso turns clockwise. That's as I step
forward with my left foot. So what happens is visually those two rotations are called torsional
rotation. Those two rotations acting against each other cancel out the net effect of what
So, I have a rotation this way, and I have a rotation that way. And what it looks
like is that I've just taken a step forward, but what you see is my arm forward because my arm
is attached to the upper torso, and my upper torso is turning that way. It's my lower torso and my
pelvis that are turning that way, and their net result is a forward motion of the arms when I step
forward with my left foot.
The opposite occurs when I step with my right foot. My upper torso,
guided by my upper rotational abdominal muscles, are turning my upper body this way, and at the
same time my lower abdominal muscles are turning my lower lumbar spine and my pelvis this way. And
so the result is I step forward with my right leg and the left arm goes forward with it. So as
you're practicing your walk, make sure you're walking with your arm and leg swinging on opposite
sides at the same time. Make sure your arms are swinging relaxed. You shouldn't have to make them
swing like this. As your core moves naturally, your arms will swing naturally. In this lesson
we're going to move down a little bit and discuss the feet. The feet are critical in walking
because they are what come in contact with the ground. Every time we take a step, the impact
of our weight on the heel can either be gentle and functional, or it can be hard and damaging.
that damage that occurs when we have a hard impact on the heel that ends up reverberating stress up
to the knees, to the hips, and the back, and can cause injury over time, even if we don't realize
it's happening. So let's talk a little bit about what the feet do. When we're walking, let me turn
sideways so you can see. When I'm taking a step, the first thing we need to know is how the feet
are lined up. Now, what I don't want to do is have my feet wide apart when I'm walking. I want
my feet basically in a not quite shoulder-width stance but just like if my feet were together and
moving straight forward in that with that distance from each other. The other thing is how the heel
lands, and when we walk forward it is going to be exactly that, a placement on the heel of the foot.
That's different, let's say, if I was walking backwards.
If I walk backwards, I'd be placing on
the ball of the foot. But most of us are walking forward most of the time, so that's what we're
going to focus on. We place on the heel and then we roll on to the flat of the foot as we take the
step. Now it's very important of how we're moving the core when we do this, because what we don't
want to do is fall onto our heel. That's not how walking works. We want to glide. So, I want to
place my heel with almost no impact. And then, as I rotate the body, and that's where the arm
swing comes in, the rotation of the body rolls me forwards onto the front of the foot. There is
no landing. There's no momentum causing me to fall forward. That's not how we want to move. We want
to move with rotation. So, I can land gently on the foot, rotate the body, and roll through on
the next part of the step which is what we call the swing through. My ankle is going to dorsiflex,
meaning it is going to pull up.
As my ankle pulls up, it allows my lower leg to move forward in
front of my foot. That is essential for keeping forward movement. If my ankle were to push down
I, would not be able to get my body forward. So, it's the pulling up of the ankle that allows
my weight to move forward. That's going to coordinate with my upper body, with the arm swing,
and allow me to move forward, where I'm then going to place the next heel and then change my body
rotation and continue to glide forward. So, a couple important principles about walking and
how it works with the feet.
Number one, we want the feet just in line like this, not wide apart.
Another important thing about the feet is we want them facing straight forwards. There are way too
many people these days walking around with their feet turned out in the duck walk. This is very
harmful because it's not how the feet are designed to roll forward. They're not meant to roll this
way. If you roll your feet in this way when you walk, what you're doing is stressing the inside of
your knees. You're going to collapse your arches and it's also going to affect your lower back.
So you need your feet facing straight forward, just this distance apart, and then placing
gently on the heel with no impact. Remember, I am NOT forcing myself forward. I am placing and
then gliding. That's a rolling action on the foot and then as my ankle pulls up it allows me to
continue moving forwards. So that's a little bit about the details of the feet.
working on the Walking Course and you're going to see a lot more detail on how we coordinate
our upper body, lower body, and our hips, so that our whole body can move more functionally.
Can keep a healthy long life. Thank you..