Try This Unique Exercise For Walking Balance, Flexibility, & Strength

Want To Improve Your Walking?

If you'd like to be able to walk better but don't want to take time to do a bunch of different exercises, then make sure to watch this video. You'll learn ONE unique exercise for walking balance, flexibility, and strength that you can do in about 2 minutes.

Can Just One Exercise Really Improve My Walking?

Walking is a very complex task, but thanks to thousands of years of evolution and probably several decades of practice on your part, you've learned to do it pretty much effortlessly without thinking about it.

...until there's a problem.

And when there's a problem, it's really bothersome because we have to walk to do just about everything in our everyday lives.

So there are a few common things that cause problems when walking:

  • Muscles stiffness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Balance problems
  • Coordination problems

Muscle Stiffness Problems That Cause Difficulty Walking

The muscles that get often cause walking problems due to being too stiff include:

  1. Your hip flexors
  2. Your calves

There are many other muscles that are involved in walking.  However, although people get concerned about having "tight hamstrings", rarely do tight hamstrings cause walking problems.

It's usually the calves and the hip flexors.

Exercise to improve walking gait cycle

Muscle Weakness Problems That Cause Difficulty Walking

There are other muscles that get weak and they cause problems with walking.

Largely, those are your gluteal muscles:

Gluteal muscles

  1. Your gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, which are hip abductor muscles
  2. Your gluteus maximus (butt muscle), which is a hip extensor.
  3. Your 6 hip external rotators, which are lie beneath your gluteus maximus and control the rotational stability of your leg when walking.
    1. Piriformis
    2. Superior gemellus
    3. Obturator internis
    4. Inferior gemellus
    5. Obturator externus
    6. Quadratus femoris

A Unique Exercise For Walking Balance, Flexibility, and Strength

So how do you fix all of those problems with just one exercise?

In order to do so, you need to find an exercise that mimics walking.

And so, largely, this exercise is going to look a lot like walking but in slow motion, where you can focus on each of the components individually.

How this exercise addresses muscle stiffness problems when walking

Let's first address the muscle stiffness problems, which are your calves and your hip flexors.

You can stretch both your calves and hip flexors at the same time like this:

calf and hip flexor stretching exercise for walking

Make sure to keep your back heel on the floor to stretch your calves. Then roll your pelvis underneath of you so that you feel a stretch in the front of your hip and thigh.

Hold this position for 10 seconds.

If  you have bad balance, you may want to do this by a wall or holding onto a cane or  chair.  This will help you maintain your balance without falling while you're doing this exercise.

How this exercise helps muscle weakness problems when walking

For the second part of the exercise, shift your weight forward onto your front foot just like  you would do when you're walking.

With your rear leg, squeeze your bottom muscles and push off your calves, just like you do when you're pushing off while walking.

exercise for walking - gluteus maximus squeeze during push off

Load weight on your front foot while turning your front knee outwards.

exercise for walking - gluteus medius and miniumus contraction during loading

This activates your gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and hip external rotators.

Additionally, when most your weight is on the front foot, this is a great exercise for walking balance. The more weight you put on the front foot, the harder he balance challenge becomes.

Repeat The Exercise As If Walking

After you've done the strength and balance part of the exercise, step through with your back leg and repeat the exercise sequence again:

  1. Back heel flat on the floor.
  2. Move forward into a calf stretch
  3. Roll your pelvis under until you feel a stretch in the front of your hip.
  4. Hold for 10 seconds.
  5. Move your weight forward over your front foot.
  6. Squeeze your gluteus maximus of  your back leg.
  7. Turn your front knee out to activate your gluteus medius and minimus.
  8. Gradually shift more weight to the front foot and maintain your balance there for 10 seconds.

Then step again... etc.


Hopefully you found this exercise for walking to be helpful. I know it's unique, and chances are that you haven't seen or done this exercise before.

But it's also strikingly pragmatic because you can see a direct correlation of how doing this exercise will help you walk better with less pain.

That's our philosophy here at More 4 Life: Helping people find innovative, yet pragmatic solutions to relieve their pain naturally, without relying on pain medications, injections, or surgeries.

If you live in the St. Louis area and need help to improve your walking or otherwise be more active with less pain, tap the button below to request an appointment with one of our specialist physical therapists.


One Last Word About This Walking Exercise

I've got a confession to make....

This is actually the second-best exercise to help you walk better.

The best exercise for walking actually walking itself.

But not just walking... walking with proper gait mechanics.

Check out this post to learn how to walk properly without having to do additional exercises.

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