How should I do the walk-the-walk exercise?

Advertisement
Advertisement

The walk the walk exercise helps activate the gluteals and hip muscles, which helps with external rotation  while you walk. This helps improve walking gait mechanics.

How should I do the walk-the-walk exercise?

To perform the walk-the-walk exercise do the following:

While standing, put your right leg back with your hand on your right gluteal muscles. Contract your gluteal muscles and feel the contraction with your right hand. The contraction you feel is what you will be striving for when walking. Relax the contraction of the right gluteus muscles; step forward with your right foot while unlocking your right knee prior to striking the foot down onto the floor. When your foot strikes, make sure your hips are over your foot, not behind it. It is very likely you will need to take a much shorter step to achieve this. That's okay. When your trunk is over your foot and the knee unlocked at foot strike, you should feel your gluteals turn on.

Lean your hips forward over the knee to engage the gluteus muscles. You may need to lift up your back (left) leg to make sure the right hip is over the right foot. Now do you feel it? If not, then bend your knee while bouncing gently or slightly flexing forward at the hip until you can feel the gluteus muscles activate. One other idea that works well with stubborn gluteals is to stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent and perform a small, single-leg squat to turn on the gluteal muscles. You need only squat about 1/2-1 inch to turn on the gluteal muscles. This almost always gets them to turn on. Once you feel the contraction, move to the other leg. Continue walking, moving into a single-leg mini-squat if necessary until you are able to turn on the gluteals more naturally. Again, the gluteal muscles should activate as a consequence of walking correctly, not because you are squeezing them consciously.

Rick Olderman
Physical Therapy

Here's how to do the walk the walk exercise that activates proper gluteal function and improves femur (thigh bone) tracking while walking:

While standing, put your right leg back with your hand on your right gluteal muscles. Contract your gluteal muscles and feel the contraction with your right hand. The contraction you feel is what you will be striving for when walking. Relax the contraction of the right gluteus muscles; step forward with your right foot while unlocking your right knee prior to striking the foot down onto the floor. When your foot strikes, make sure your hips are over your foot, not behind it. It is very likely you will need to take a much shorter step to achieve this. That's okay. When your trunk is over your foot and the knee unlocked at foot strike, you should feel your gluteals turn on.

Lean your hips forward over the knee to engage the gluteus muscles. You may need to lift up your back (left) leg to make sure the right hip is over the right foot. Now do you feel it? If not, then bend your knee while bouncing gently or slightly flexing forward at the hip until you can feel the gluteus muscles activate. One other idea that works well with stubborn gluteals is to stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent and perform a small, single-leg squat to turn on the gluteal muscles. You need only squat about 1/2-1 inch to turn on the gluteal muscles. This almost always gets them to turn on. Once you feel the contraction, move to the other leg. Continue walking, moving into a single-leg mini-squat if necessary until you are able to turn on the gluteals more naturally. Again, the gluteal muscles should activate as a consequence of walking correctly, not because you are squeezing them consciously.

Continue practicing by taking one step, feeling the gluteals engage, then take another step doing the same on the other side. Do not take another step until the gluteals are contracting well. Gradually you will be able to know the gluteals are firing without using your hands. After you feel confident the gluteal muscles are turning on at footstrike, begin standing up straighter and straightening your knee a little more to more closely approximate your old walking style. You should be able to walk looking almost exactly as you did before with only a minor difference but with your gluteal muscles turned on. Practice whenever and wherever you can.

Fixing You: Hip & Knee Pain: Self-treatment for IT band friction, arthritis, groin pain, bursitis, knee pain, PFS, AKPS, and other diagnoses

More About this Book

Fixing You: Hip & Knee Pain: Self-treatment for IT band friction, arthritis, groin pain, bursitis, knee pain, PFS, AKPS, and other diagnoses

Hip and knee pain are often a result of poor pelvic muscle performance in combination with poor walking habits. This combination creates tracking problems in the hip socket or excessive rotation at...

Continue Learning about Types of Walking

Types of Walking

Types of Walking

Know the difference between speed walking, power walking and race walking? By varying your pace or way of walking, you can address different areas of your body and even focus on your mental health. Learn more about different types ...

of walking and their benefits with expert advice from Sharecare.
More

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.