2015, Series 4, Week 2 - Have You Taken Your Movement Multi-vitamin Today?

So guess what? Gait Basics is YOUR home practice, and it's my home practice too. Why do we need to do these exercises every day? Because they supplement what is missing from our movement diet.

We don't have to do all 5 exercises in a row and some of them can be even be done in conjunction with each other (once you get more proficient at them). But bringing these exercises into your life on a regular basis can make a huge difference to how you move and how you feel. If only because they heighten your awareness of how often our daily habits might be encouraging degenerative conditions (weight drifting forward over toes anyone?).

 

 Speaking of weight drifting over toes - the smallest of heels will encourage just that. Even children's school shoes will almost always have a heel. If you don't think you wear heels go and check. We need to start changing our perception of just what that means, because our muscles have come to accommodate our cultural beliefs and expectations. Then stick a 4cm wedge under one corner of your bookcase and see what happens.......

Speaking of weight drifting over toes - the smallest of heels will encourage just that. Even children's school shoes will almost always have a heel. If you don't think you wear heels go and check. We need to start changing our perception of just what that means, because our muscles have come to accommodate our cultural beliefs and expectations. Then stick a 4cm wedge under one corner of your bookcase and see what happens.......

 There is an optimal way to stack your bones. See how many of these boxes you can tick, is your: - weight back in your heels - centre of your hip lined up over your ankle bone - toes relaxed with feet straight ahead - can you lift and lower your knee caps?

There is an optimal way to stack your bones. See how many of these boxes you can tick, is your:
- weight back in your heels
- centre of your hip lined up over your ankle bone
- toes relaxed with feet straight ahead
- can you lift and lower your knee caps?

 With a 4cm wedge under my heels: - my pelvis has now moved forward - my quads are pulling up so my knees are under pressure - my toes have scrunched up and - I've thrust my ribs forward to accommodate all of these displaced loads.  What is happening to my body here is very similar to the lady on the right hand side at the top of the page. She has better hair though, even though you can't see mine here you can trust me on that one.

With a 4cm wedge under my heels:
- my pelvis has now moved forward
- my quads are pulling up so my knees are under pressure
- my toes have scrunched up and
- I've thrust my ribs forward to accommodate all of these displaced loads.

What is happening to my body here is very similar to the lady on the right hand side at the top of the page. She has better hair though, even though you can't see mine here you can trust me on that one.

You woudn't get up in the morning and decide to run a marathon without training for it. Changing the shoes you wear requires the same logical approach. It takes time for the tissues of the body to lengthen again and everyone will have different needs. If you are keen to learn more though you could start by reading Katy Bowman's Whole Body Barefoot. I have written an article that might be helpful too.

If you are inspired to begin the move into minimalist shoes (that just means into a shoe that has minimal interference with your foot's natural movement) - guess which exercise program you would start with? If you guessed Gait Basics then you can reward yourself with an extra Double Calf Stretch, and a great big High 5 from me next time you see me. Because you know I will be excited, I really will.

Here's Lucy demonstrating Double Calf Stretch out in the world. No gear required. Please note that we had to pay Bart quite a lot to get him to stick his head in front of the camera, but it was worth it.

HOMEWORK WEEK 2 - SERIES 4, 2015

This week we covered everything in your home program - Gait Basics (full program listed in Week 1 or refer to your handout). So ideally you could do the whole thing every day (you can break it up - and some things can be done together). But another option is to add one new exercise every week. So this week, you would add the Foot Stretch. Please continue to work with your Hand Stretch as well.

  • Foot Alignment
  • Calf Stretch
  • Hand Stretch (not part of gait basics but very important. This is the calf stretch for your upper body! If you have sore hands, wrists, elbows, neck and / or shoulders you need this. Strike that, we all need this. Also, it will help you get ready for the work we will add in a few weeks time.)
  • Foot Stretch
 We worked on the seated variation of this one today - a great option if the top of your foot is very tight.

We worked on the seated variation of this one today - a great option if the top of your foot is very tight.