During a recent trip to the zoo with the family, I noticed this young lady walking in front of me (yes, We ALWAYS have a camera with us and YES, We ALWAYS look at everyone’s gait and YES, we really are that geeky).

Watch the clip a few times and note these points about the gal on the left; keep in mind, she could have hip or muscle pathology as well

  • notice the subtle toeing in (decreased progression angle) of the feet, most likely due to internal tibial torsion
  • notice how she doesn’t have her shoes tied; this would necessitate her clenching or clawing her toes to keep her shoes from falling off. This inhibits the activity of the glutes and causes her to have to extend from the hams and lumbar spine; as a result, note how straight she keeps her legs when ambulating
  • there is little to no ankle rocker; she goes from heel rocker to forefoot rocker
  • premature heel rise
  • due to the lack of hip extension and decreased activity of glute max, note how she “rotates” around each leg
  • how about that cross over gait?

Fixes?

For starters:

  • tie your shoes
  • 1 legged standing exercises, being careful to keep hips level and not have a pelvic shift
  • walk with toes up or slightly extended during all phases except for that brief moment during midstance where you need the toes for balance and ground purchase
  • shuffle exercises to engage glute max
  • never wear pants that are sooooo tight that you cannot generate normal fluid gait

Ivo and Shawn…The Gait Geeks…We leave no gait unanalzed…even at the zoo. Watch it; we may have YOU on film!

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