Walking Gait

I wanted to share this description of people walking which I had never thought of before!

"Walking involves all the joints of the lower limb and is characterised by an ‘inverted pendulum’ motion, in which the body vaults over the non-moving limb."   That makes it sound very impressive (and quite complicated, which it isn't)!

  1. Strike the ground first with your heel.
  2. Roll through the step from heel to toe.
  3. Push off with your toes.
  4. Swing the back leg forward to strike again with the heel.

However as we age the "proper" walking gait might become more difficult due to loss of muscle mass, osteoarthritis and decreased mobility in joints amongst other things, and that is when the hip hitch rather than lifting the knee to get the foot off the ground and the flat foot strike start to occur. 

An exercise which may help is the flamingo swing. During walking, the muscles of the upper leg, the muscles of the lower leg and the hip flexors, all work together and this exercise does the same and includes a balance element! Demonstration of the flamingo swing (with regressions and progressions)

A kitchen counter makes a great support option if you need a little bit of help to begin with.

Older adult doing flamingo swing exercise

Have a go and let me know how you get on!