How should we walk ?

Discussion in 'Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions' started by nck, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. nck

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    True, but I think what really matters is having good stability in the feet. If you can form a good tripod with your feet you should be safe, but if not maybe increasing that interdigit space helps.
     
  2. nck

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    Thank you. I think I'm in that point of where i need "medical rehabilitation training". I mean, I can walk from A to B but probably as already happened to me in a two weeks hike I ended with a fracture in one met and tofp in the other one. I think that with a proper walking technique and a good aligned overall body that shouldn't happen. And now after being almost without moving for two months it kind of gets worse.

    Also, I don't agree that people in general are "safe walking" and injury free. But due to having a low intensity (1) and in general people walk very little (2) the problems associated with a bad technique don't show up in a really long time. For example walking with the feet pointing 45º outward, the head hanging in front of you, hips forward, not using the gluts at all and falling forward over the quads... I don't know if it's that well known in other countries, but we have in Spain the The Way of Saint James coming from over all Europe. You can hike as many km as you want during many days, and in general it doesn't have any kind of technical difficulty but a huge amount of people get injured, apart from blisters, is really common to see knee problems, ankle problems, tendonitis, etc... And it's just walking.

    If you know or learn about this cues you can correct it and walk much safer, properly aligned and with each muscle taking care of what it should. You may have to be constantly thinking about it at beginning, but then it goes automatic when your muscles and tissues have adapted. And also I think this applies to most of the sports where you do something repeatedly. For example, you go to the gym and do barbell squats, if you are properly aligned even going beyond what you can lift you will just not be able to lift it or in an extreme case tear or brake a muscle due to the tension. But you won't get joint problems it you are properly aligned and structurally firm.

    I will give it a try. I ordered the book.
     
  3. Gordon

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    I don't think so, because the forces are so much higher in running, and because the energetics are completely different. I believe that the problems so many folks have with running well is caused by running like they walk when they walk just fine. Now if the question is whether or not it's possible to overstride when walking, then yes, it's possible, just look at racewalkers. Common? No
     
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  4. Gordon

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  5. nck

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    I've been googling about it and in some places they suggest that the knees should also be bent at landing while walking. That would cause a smaller angle in the ankle as you said:
    https://gokhalemethod.com/blog/52812

    I've been trying a little bit walking around home doing that, and I do feel that I land in a softer way and I don't have so much pressure in the middle of the 2-4 metatarsal heads. I still have to think a little bit about pressing with the big toe during toe off to release pressure there though.


    Thank you, I'll study it a little bit more, because at first glance I don't see exactly what he means :joyful:
     
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  6. nck

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  7. Gordon

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    Yes. But there's a big difference between locking out your leading leg and having a soft knee with a nearly straight leg. Locking out your lead leg is bad and generally leads to banging your heel down. Doing a Groucho Marx walk is bad. I don't know whether it's bad for you, but it's darned tiring. A soft knee allows you to be ready to absorb shock if needed while still being efficient.
     
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  8. Gordon

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    Everybody has an opinion. Especially me. :) Since she gets the physics wrong right off the bat in that hand-drawn diagram, I wouldn't weight hers that much. Lieberman got it right in his paper, you sort of pole vault over your leg, so your COM rises at mid stance and then drops with gravity assisting you to fall forward. She is right that too much knee bending and straightening is inefficient. When I walk I land on a soft knee which straightens into toe off. It's saved me some teeth a time or two when I walked off a step or a curb in the dark. I do think that with extra pelvic motion, you could pull off the locked out knee thing on smooth flat pavement, but things are going to get ugly fast if you find yourself on a natural surface. Thinking about it, the locked out knee with lots of hip motion is exactly what race walkers do ... so it is very efficient. I'd argue that it's also unnatural.
     
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  9. nck

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    I found the book from that websites (gokhale) to take a quick look and she actually says the knee should land bent. But she also mentions many things which i'm not sure that they are correct or at least I have never read about them like:
    -We should walk with 5-15 degrees of rotation in the foot.
    -We should stay more time on the heel and walk by pulling the leg with one glut forward, land with bent knee, straighten that leg while pulling the other leg again with the glut and so on...
    -We should not have any arm swing or very little.
    -We should walk with our footprint touching the same line, and not wider, something like this:
    [​IMG]
    I really used to like and trust Katy Bowman's blog, it usually was quiet convincing from a biomechanical point of view but simplified for all the people. I also really like her books.

    Great point, so maybe the key is just having a straight knee soft enought so that it can easily be bent in case you fall or step into something unexpected?

    There is a comment in the link I put in the first post where someone comments about what you say:
    And the answer:
    I also found this comment about it really interesting:
    And a video about going upward or downward:
     
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  10. Gordon

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    Lot of stuff to address at once. I'll take a swing at some of them.

    Your feet should point whichever way they point, what's important is that your knees point straight ahead. Knees are hinges and don't handle twisting forces gracefully. Depending on the amount of twist in your lower leg bones, your feet should point anywhere from slightly inward to somewhat outward.

    Yes, the knee is only slightly bent, just in case. It actually straightens under load which puts more force on the hip during mid stance than walking with a locked leg, which refutes the bone density argument(which I'm not buying without some data - it sounds like a real stretch). Your knee not being locked doesn't mean that it flexes. Unless you step into an unseen hole, in which case it does, saving your ass in the process. :)

    The video. Erm. Um. I had a real problem when she said to power your uphill walk by using your calves. Yikes. If you actually do that, you're going to be crippled with cramps in short order. The glutes power uphill walking through hip extension much as they power running. The gastrocs(the calf muscle pulling on the heel) are biarticular muscles that don't lengthen or shorten much during a stride cycle. All they do is transfer power from the glutes to the feet. Well, from the femur to the talus. The glutes drive the femur. She is right that most people use their quads too much. But the answer is to use the glutes instead. In addition, really.

    Going downhill. Yes, your pelvis rocks. And your knees are bent. And your quads take a beating. I don't understand why she doesn't talk about the pelvis rocking during uphill walking. The gluteus medius on your stance side raises the opposite side of your pelvis as you extend your hip. That happens on flat ground, too. Seriously, everything moves together, your spine, your hips, your legs, your arms. Heck, even your neck and head. Focusing on one or two body parts and trying to force them into a specific pattern can lead to more problems elsewhere ... our bodies are one piece and everything affects everything else. Piecemeal change only works if you're very observant about all the other things that change as you make your tweaks. Most people aren't that observant. A classic example is changing foot strike. You can land on your forefoot while continuing to over stride by changing how you hold your foot. Metatarsal stress fractures soon follow. You fix how your foot lands by changing things other than your foot, like your posture, or how you use your hips. All you do with your feet is ... nothing. You just let them flop around as they will. By the same token, all you really need to do to go uphill(or downhill) well is to lengthen your spine(including your neck) and widen your shoulders. Get your body in the right position and everything else will follow gracefully.
     
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  11. Barefoot TJ

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    I've never been able to increase that space no matter the many years of barefooting.
     
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  12. nck

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    Thank you.

    -You say the rotation could be in many directions, but wouldn't this make in the long term that the bones of the toes rotate toward that direction? I totally agree that the rotation of the knee is more important but I think the rotation of the knee is influenced by the strength and balance between the gluts, lateral hip muscles and adductors, and not so much but what the ankle is doing. For example, by having the toes pointing forward and parallel, if you do a screwing motion with your hips without moving the feet you can adjust the knee to have it perfectly aligned.

    -I agree completely with going up hill, I must say that's the easiest way of walking for me, compared to going downhill/downstairs, as focusing on the gluts and an upright posture is enough.


    -Another thing I don't see anyone talking is about what do the toes during landing. I've seen that if I dorsiflex the big toe (point it upward) the 1st met head goes down first and maybe less pressure is applied to the second metatarsal (having mortons foot). But I don't know if it's a good idea, I don't know where I read that dorsifleixon during landing puts more stress in the metatarsal heads and would be bad, but I don't know if it was refering to ankle dorsiflexion, toes, both...
    In this photo they do the opposite:
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Gordon

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    Some people have what's called tibial torsion, where the foot and knee don't point in the same direction. I don't know what percentage, sorry. I'd expect to see that most people have a slight external rotation, leading to recommendations like "Your feet should angle out at 10-15 degrees." :) Since neither your ankle or your knee rotate well, you won't be able to change that angle by rotating your hip. What happens instead is that your ankle rolls and your foot makes the adjustment by and pronating or supinating, allowing the knee some motion. I think that you really don't want to be landing a running stride on a foot and ankle that aren't neutrally positioned. You probably can for a while, we do run well over rough ground after all, but mile after mile? Sounds like a really bad idea.
     
  14. nck

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    Can anyone tell me what's the function of the toes while walking?

    I though they were used to stabilise the whole body but after observing some days my own foot I realized I get pain in the 2nd -3rd met heads when both of those toes are pushing against the floor or gripping it and it seems like they are stressed trying to keep balance in the whole foot.

    So is that their job and they are just week or should the foot be in balance without the action of the toes and the toes are trying to compensate that problem?
     

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