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Walking Tips!

16 June 2017

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May marked Britain’s ‘National Walking Month’, but we here at HCC believe in the importance of walking no matter what month it is!  With this in mind, Mark has shared some helpful tips with us to help us maximise our walking potential!

Tip #1 – Say no to pumps!

Avoid pumps, flip-flops and flimsy sandals for long walks.  If you have a flat foot, shoes which support the arch of your foot are generally useful.  If you have an excessively high arch foot profile, shoes with a moderate heel are usually beneficial.

Tip #2 – Squeeze those butt muscles!

Possibly the most underused and weak muscle in relation to its size is the buttock or gluteal muscles.  It should play a prominent role in protecting the back and propelling you forward walking.  So, the next time you are pushing off your toes to propel yourself forward – squeeze the gluteal muscles!  You can practice this by pushing against the wall with one leg forward, off your foot and toes, knee bent and the other leg straight.  On the leg furthest away from the wall, push forward toward the wall and squeeze your buttock.

Tip #3 – Punch your way to a better walk

Often, people do not use their trunk and upper body to add to the forward momentum of walking.  As with most sporting activities, e.g. golf, tennis, boxing; the power comes from the pelvis and trunk.  To simulate this, pretend you are punching something ahead of you.  This spot should be on the same side as your punching hand.  Really put some effort into this as though you want to punch the spot with all your might.  You should find you automatically use your trunk and pelvis.  Try to integrate this into your walking motion.

Tip #4 – Stand up!

When walking, an upright posture is essential.  It is very common to see people standing or walking with a stooped posture.  Instead, think of a thread coming from the top of your head and pulling your whole spine upwards.  This should correct your posture, which will in turn help you activate your trunk muscles, which will take the pressure off your thighs and legs.

Tip # 5 – Suck it in!

As with most exercises, your ability to provide oxygen to your tiring muscles is essential for optimal performance.  It is very common for people to breathe only using their upper chest/lungs.  Given the pyramidal shape (with the bottom of the rib cage), this means you are only using a very small portion of your lungs.  Instead, try to breathe by expanding the bottom rib cage so that your sides are pushed out.  This will take some practice but, once mastered, will help with performance; especially in terms of endurance and recovery.

Tip #6 – Get some swagger

To put the whole technique of walking together (tips #1-5), you might imagine yourself walking along with some attitude.  Loosen your body up and move as though you are on a cat walk.  Alternatively, visualise a 100m sprinter with all the upper body action and the knees and hip motion (pumping the knees and arms to get as much speed as possible) and use this technique but slowed down.

If you have any questions or would like one of our chiropractors to take a look at your style of walking, please do not hesitate to call us at the clinic on 0113 228 9888 and we would be happy to do this free of charge!

Our Clients

Keith Gordon
Keith Gordon
13:20 11 Jul 18
Second review from me, but Google asked. In my particular case, I think 10 visits to a physiotherapist is equivalent to just one here with Sarah. Again, a brilliant session - feel and move so much better, thank you.read more
Helen Frazer
Helen Frazer
22:50 12 May 18
Great treatment provided and explanation for what/why need - great approach to help patients understand root cause and self help to prevent re-occurrence. 👍read more
Alex Barry
Alex Barry
23:42 23 Apr 18
Absolutely fantastic. Caring and genuinely want to help
Keith Gordon
Keith Gordon
06:33 25 Feb 18
The best chiropractor I have visited in 25 years- Sarah is excellent and very professional. Throughly recommended over all others I have visited.
Marian Gheorghe
Marian Gheorghe
21:40 08 Feb 18
I came to see Mark Butterworth agonising with back pain, including lower back and the neck. Both, the entire spine and muscles around the neck were stiff and painful, making me unable to sit, stand and sleep more than a couple of hours over night. Mark assessed me very thoroughly and professionally, prescribing at the end a treatment over several weeks. After two weeks, my situation significantly improved: the muscles becoming more relaxed, spine more flexible and my entire body more able to move freely, without pain. The progress is obvious. Mark is not only very knowledgeable and professional, but also methodic in what is doing, caring about any detail and providing advice when requested. I would recommend Mark and his colleagues without any hesitation as one of the best clinics of this type I have ever encountered.read more
Mohammed Zabair
Mohammed Zabair
20:05 18 Jan 18
Very thorough and very informative, Highly professional yet relaxed atmosphere. Tea and coffee offered on several occasions, just made the whole experience very pleasant. Mr Butterworth is very knowledgeable and passionate about his craft. Highly recommended A+++read more
Iram Ali
Iram Ali
23:24 10 Nov 17
After months of being in pain, I went to see Mark at the Headingley Chiropractic Clinic. I can honestly say it has made a huge difference. I may have a while before I'm 100% but I definitely feel like I have some normality back in my life. Oh and Stephanie is a godsend with her cups of coffee :)read more
thornton andrew
thornton andrew
09:27 13 Sep 17
I retired from work in 2012 and had terrible back problems from not sitting correctly at computers. Mark gradually manipulated the muscles back into something like normality and I now go once a month to keep the muscles freed up and have a completely pain free existence. I have also had a long standing knee problem going back to a leg break in 1987. Mark actually managed to manipulate the joint back into line and since then i have had no problems with either my knee or hip, thus avoiding potential surgery. I cannot speak highly enough of the entire practice, all the staff are charming and couldn't be more helpful. Worth every penny for a pain free life. Many thanks to all the staff.read more
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