Sometimes referred to as glidewalking, or primitive gait pattern, this form of walking encourages natural movement of the spine, maximizes the use of the glutes, and is the natural walking posture that humans have used for thousands of years to move across long distances.
Over the past century, normal gait patterns have undergone an evolution. The population has become significantly more sedentary with readily available transportation. We now have obstacles to proper gait including clothing and footwear. And now, as a society, we now spend large amounts of time walking and sitting while slumping in-front of a screen.
As social creatures, we consciously and unconsciously mimic the patterns of others including how we talk, move our bodies, and how we walk. With time the sedentary nature of human cultures have created a de-evolution of gait and basic posture. We no longer rotate in the shoulders or hips when walking. We have begun to hunch in the neck and shoulders, and move our feet out to a wider less efficient stride.
Our bodies which evolved for movement are no longer being used for what they were designed. When we walk hunched we are not only illustrating to our peers that we are submissive and part of the crowd, this posture is also directly communicating to our brains we are timid, unsure and unhappy. Walking with an upright and rotational twist is a walk of confidence and health that allows for large distances of walking to happen effortlessly, and that helps nourish our brain and body with adequate amounts of oxygen. It also serves as a medium for naturally healing both emotionally and physically.
Various body muscles involved in walking include:
The Quadriceps: These can be found in front of the thighs. They are the biggest muscles in the body system. The quadriceps help in raising and pushing the thigh and leg forward.
The Hamstrings: Hamstrings are at the back of the thigh. They help in moving the legs leg backward.
Other muscles involved in walking include the muscles at the thigh/knee (medialis, vastus lateralis, obliques, and rectus femoris), and the muscles of the lower leg (gastrocnemius, soleus, peroneals, and tibialis anterior/posterior).
Just like every other physical activity, energy is expended while waking. However, the gait pattern or walking posture goes a long way in determining the amount of perceived difficulty experienced in walking. While there is no reduction in the number of calories burned while glidewalking, the movement is much more fluid and easier on the joints.
By using a gait pattern that allows the body to move as it was intended, and engaging the large muscles which were intended for this purpose, many people find that it is easier to walk. Clients often notice less fatigue, pain, and notice how they can walk further than they could previously. Glidewalking encourages proper placement of the foot and movement in the shoulders. Hence, lateral balance can be easily controlled.
Unknown to many, walking can help in healing the body both physically and mentally. Walking helps in strengthening the heart, and maximizing circulation, and microcirculation. This helps reduce stress, inflammation and helps improve sleep and digestion. By walking regularly, you can reduce your changes of heart disease and stroke. Walking can help you lose weight, and at the same time, lower the risk of diabetes and dementia.
Finally, walking can serve as an antidepressant. When you walk, feel-good endorphins are released into your body that helps reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. Improve your physical and mental health today by trekking short distances regularly.
Walking with this primal posture makes it possible to enjoy an active lifestyle while minimizing risk of injury. Glidewalking encourages you to cultivate a posture that will safely increase stamina, muscle strength, and flexibility.