Posture and movement problems can hamper your ability to move fluidly. In a perfect gait, you have muscle balance, or equal strength in the opposing muscles and when you use one muscle more than the others, it creates an imbalance that affects how you move and walk.
Correcting such imbalances reintroduces ease into your stride. For example, if you roll each hip forward smoothly before each step, relax your shoulders, and hold in your stomach, you’ll feel tension leave your lower back. If your hips aren’t rotating the force of hitting the ground ends at your hip joint instead of dissipating through the rest of your body. He points out that any change in gait will seem awkward at first. But if you remain conscious of your movements, it won’t take nearly the amount to correct our posture as it took to do them wrong. The mind will shape the body. Practice daily, and you’ll see change within weeks.
So how do we start correcting the our posture?
It starts and ends with awareness and if you think about how you walk and you know the correct way, you’ll simply do it better. This walking-awareness checklist will get you started.
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Pull your navel toward your spine.
Your abdominal muscles will form a girdle of stability, and your movements will be more controlled (you’ll have great abs, besides). As you walk, let your arms swing, and as you walk, let your arms swing, but try not to swivel your torso—its job is to support movement.
Consciously engage your butt and thigh muscles.
As you prepare to take a step, focus on your trailing leg, creating a crease where your butt and thigh meet by lifting your cheek and tightening your hamstring. Continue to use those muscles as you bring that leg forward. Notice how your inner thigh muscles keep your knee pointed forward and stabilize your leg.
Walk with your toes pointing forward.
When you walk, allow your heel to strike first, then push off from the big toe, flexing at the ankle.
Relax your shoulders.
Hold them back and down, and resist the tendency to hunch or shrug.
Hold your head high.
Loping forward headfirst stresses your neck and throws your gait off balance. To distribute the force of gravity over your body along the natural curves of your spine, walk as if you’re suspended by a string attached to the top of your head. Or just recall that old charm school drill of walking while balancing a book on your head.
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