Walking correctly requires technique like any other physical activity. Most people don’t realize this and walk unconsciously. As a result people develop some strange patterns, the most prevalent one—walking like a duck.
It is ideal to have the feet move towards parallel when we walk. But, and this is a major but, you shouldn’t simply turn your feet in to make it happen. It is amazing how many people don’t realize that they walk with their feet turned out. Watch people walk when you are outside today and you might be shocked by what you see. Quack, quack.
We don’t need to have perfectly parallel feet when walking. Walking towards parallel with the legs under the hips is enough, but the important part is how you make it happen. The foot falls to the floor according to the position of the pelvis. If the pelvis is correctly aligned and leg muscles balanced, the feet will always fall naturally towards the midline of the body and parallel. Let’s say the pelvis is tucked under, it will push the thighs forward externally rotating legs in the process. This is what creates the foot turn-out that most people employ.
While it is pretty easy to change the way you walk– get over you and fall forward—it gets a little more complicated in the details. It is important to know how the body is supposed to work before you go about bringing changes to the system.
So even though we hope our feet will fall as close to parallel as possible when walking, how we get them to do that is essential to living an active pain free life.