The Mechanics of Walking: Part 2
By Suzie Cummins of ‘Pilates and Functional Movement with Suzie’
Suzie has her own studio based here in Kenilworth and has been a 1-2-1 rehab pilates teacher for nearly 10 years but also specialises in combining this with teaching people how to walk correctly. She now focuses on using a 12 week walking programme to show people their postural and body movement issues.
Last month we looked at the 2 movements involved in walking: pronation and supination. This month I’ll show you 2 exercises to improve those 2 movements.
EXERCISE TO HELP YOU PRONATE YOUR FEET
If you remember when you walk your front foot ROLLS IN – technically known as PRONATION.
Here is an exercise you can do to test if you are pronating correctly:
- Stand in a straddled position (one leg in front of the other) with your right foot in front and left leg behind (left foot flat on the floor). Place a pen level across the top of your right foot with it touching your big toe.
- Now bend your right knee and feel your right foot rolling inwards as you do so.
- If your foot is properly pronated, then when you straighten your front leg the pen should have moved a few millimetres away from your big toe.
- Repeat on the other foot.
If you can’t pronate both feet equally then there will undoubtedly be postural / structural issues further up your body.
EXERCISE TO HELP YOU SUPINATE YOUR FEET
If you remember when you walk your back foot ROLLS OUT – technically known as SUPINATION.
Here is an exercise you can do to test how well you can supinate your feet:
Stand with your feet parallel and hip width apart. Try to lift just your big toe without any other toes getting involved.
Can you equally lift both your big toes? Ideally you should be able to lift to a 60% angle!
If you can’t do this or have a major difference one side to the other, then it indicates your foot supination is poor which may lead to weak glutes or back/hip issues.
In the final article we shall examine WALKING in more detail.