If you are having problems with the way you walk,
or questions about how to walk correctly, you may find yourself very frustrated. You can't find
much help from the doctor, and you found yourself looking for answers on YouTube. On YouTube you
find top videos giving conflicting information, or information that just doesn't make any sense.
Do you place with your heel or with your midfoot. Do you stand up straight or do you lean forward.
Are shoes harmful or are shoes helpful. How can people disagree on something so basic to
human existence. Good question. In this video, I'd like to help clarify the issue about foot
placement, heel, flat, or ball, and why people disagree. Let's start with what has been generally
accepted. This is an image of the standard gait cycle from the most comprehensive scientific book
on gait by Jacqueline Perry.
It clearly shows the heel as the point of initial contact. If you
look up any images about the human gait cycle, you won't find any disagreement that heel
placement is normal in human walking gait. If you watch crowds of people walking, nearly everyone
naturally places on the heel. We should start from that premise. Carl Sagan once said extraordinary
claims require extraordinary evidence. To claim that this is all wrong, and heel placement is
incorrect, is an extraordinary claim and should be looked at skeptically. Let's look at what a
normal functional heel placement should look like. The heel hovers just above the
ground at the end of the leg swing, then comes down in a controlled fashion. The heel is not driving into the
ground at the end of the leg swing. The posture is completely vertical at every stage of the step. No forward lean or backward
lean is necessary to initiate the step.
Here is a frame-by-frame of the leg swing
and the heel placement. The leg swing is powered by a lifting action from the
standing leg hip. The swing through ends when the heel is just above the ground,
then the foot places in a controlled fashion. The swing-through is initiated when the forward
knee is perpendicular to the ankle. The energy comes from the rotation of the torso and
the lifting from the standing leg hip. There is no push off from the
rear hip or the rear foot. Now, here is why incorrect heel placement can be a
problem. This clip shows the results of leaning forward and pushing off to initiate a step.
The rear hip is pushing back as the heel hits. The heel hits the ground with force and forward
momentum. The torso is leaning instead of rotating. The rear hip is pushing back instead
of lifting forward. This is not normal walking technique. This is the type of incorrect heel
strike that causes damage and poor posture. The solution is not to change the nature of walking.
The solution is to move correctly from your core, resulting in a gentle heel placement and
natural roll through from heel to ball.
Thanks for watching.