Walking is by far the most common and most accessible form of exercise available today. It’s a misconception to think that just because we have two feet, we automatically walk in the way our bodies were designed. It is true that at one time we knew how to walk with excellent technique, but early on many of us lose that form, and our bodies become misaligned and imbalanced.
Considering the current upsurge in interest for walking, there is surprisingly very little instruction available on how to walk properly. In fact, many people who start a walking program do so with poor technique which may result in sore backs, hips, hamstrings, ankles and knees.
We are committed to helping people move properly and with the least amount of resistance. It’s common for people to take golf lessons, skiing lessons, tennis lessons, etc. We want to make sure that we teach those looking to walk properly how to do so. By learning how to ChiWalk, you can regain your balance, improve your mobility and ultimately reclaim your health.
Here are 3 Key elements to Begin ChiWalking:
1. Find Proper Alignment:
Proper alignment is the foundation for ChiWalking. The efficiency of your walking is directly proportional to the quality of your posture. In ChiWalking we begin by making a practice of maintaining proper posture, not just when walking, but in all activities. When standing still, correct posture means your shoulders, hips and ankles are aligned in a straight, vertical line. When our joints are stacked in this manner, we call this our column. You should feel tall and strong as you walk, with your skeletal system bearing your weight.
2. Create Balance:
Physical balance is essential for developing efficient walking technique. When you walk in balance, it takes less work to support your body weight and less effort to move forward. Think about evenly distributing your weight on each of your feet and keeping your center of mass over your feet. Having good balance also insures much less potential for falling. Practice walking in place by bending your knees and allowing your ankles to relax.
3. Move Using Your Core:
Core muscles stabilize your pelvis during movement. They are the strongest muscle group in your body. When engaged and used properly, your core also hold your spine erect and balanced, and help move your legs. It brings efficiency and ease to walking and other movements. If your core is weak, you will compensate by using your arms and legs to do the work. It becomes much harder and less efficient when you walk or perform other activities of daily living. Start by engaging your core to keep your pelvis stable. Then move your center of mass forward while bending your knees (as you did when you practiced walking in place) and allowing your ankles to relax.
ChiWalking brings efficiency and ease into any walking practice. These three steps will get you off to a good start and help you walk with excellent technique that not only feels good, but helps prevent walking injuries.
For more information on ChiWalking check out the ChiWalking books and programs.
To get personalized instruction, find an instructor near you.