Short Steps: Get Your Legs Under Your Hips


short stepsWalking is a forward motion—technically we are falling through space and the psoas major muscle initiates the response that will catch us over and over again. If you play with falling and catching yourself as you walk you might find that you are taking short steps and the feet fall more naturally under the hips.

For some reason people don’t like taking short steps though I always assure them that more short steps will make you walk faster that longer strides. The solution I offer people is that you can take as long as stride as you want as long as you don’t hyperextend your knees to move the body forward.

If someone hyperextends with each step—and the percentages are overwhelming—it means that by definition the calf is moving backwards to propel the body forward. There is nothing good about this pattern though so many people do it. And if someone doesn’t feel that they hyperextend in this way, or no one has ever told them not to, there is no reason for change to take place.

Walking is falling forward with the feet falling under the pelvis as the upper body moves through space. Head outside and see if this is the way you move. Pay attention to the lower leg and feel if the calf of the back leg moves backwards on the push-off. If it does—stop.

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