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SymFit® Healthy Fitness System
Healthy Walking



We are designed to walk efficiently.  Unhealthy sitting postures are changing our musculoskeletal systems and by the time we are in our late 20's or early 30's most of us have loss our ability to access the neutral postures that allow for efficient walking.  




Healthy Walking Posture




Walking is one of the most beautiful activities. We start out sluggish as we are brought into the world and with some luck we hit our walking stride by time we are teenagers. Excessive sitting starts to change our posture and loading patterns through the hips, knees and ankles and many of us start walking less than efficiently by our 30’s again. We should be able to walk efficiently into our 80’s if we live a “Symmetrical Life”. This has a significant effect on our attempts to stay healthy for the rest of our lives. Let’s reconnect to how to walk efficiently. It starts by reviewing how the body is designed to walk.

Postural Alignment:

1. “Stack your Upper Back” ™ to establish the foundation for neutral spine alignment

2. Maintain a “Head Nod” ™ to unload your neck

3. “Connect Rib Cage to Pelvis” ™ to unload the low back

4. Maintain an “Inward Spiral” ™ of the hips to ensure symmetrical loading through the hips, knee and ankles

Efficient Walking Mechanics:

1. Swing the leg through only as far forward as you can maintain a “Stacked Upper Back” and vertical Pelvis”

2. Land on the center of the heel

3. Transfer to the outside of the foot before mid-stance

4. Start transferring to the 2nd toe just after mid-stance by maintaining an inward spiral

5. Push-off through your 2nd toe at toe off

When walking from neutral spine with the proper mechanics you should benefit from a slight propulsion at push off if you are able to maintain an inward spiral throughout the stance phase. “Inward Spiral” is only accessible if your pelvis is maintained in a neutral (vertical position) which is only accessible neurologically if you maintain a “Stacked Upper Back”. A “Head Nod” helps you maintain a Stacked Upper Back.

Strategies for maintaining a Stacked Upper Back: Chest Lift Series at SymFit2 level strengthens your lower traps sufficiently to allow you to keep your shoulder blades in their neutral position on the rib cage during running
Strategies for maintaining a Head Nod: Head Nod Series at SymFit2 level strengthens the muscles under the base of the neck that stabilize the skull in neutral during walking
Strategies for maintaining a Neutral Pelvis: Pelvic Curl Series at SymFit2 level strengthen's the lower abdominals ability to maintain neutral pelvis positioning during walking.
Strategies for maintaining an Inward Spiral: Walking Series at SymFit2 level strengthen's the abdominals ability to maintain neutral hip positioning during walking.



Unhealthy Walking Posture
Healthy Running:
Running can be a healthy cardiovascular option for most of us. If you are currently running and encountering increasing ached and pains, we suggest that you see a SymFit® Physical Therapy consult as the source of the problem is likely mechanical. If you are not a runner and wish to begin we suggest you complete the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System to SymFit2 level and then begin the SymFit Healthy Running Conditioning Program. Like any new sport or activity there is a conditioning phase to begin it a low level and a conditioning phase the allows you to progress safely. Life is too short to not do the activities you want to do.

Postural Alignment:

1. Stack your upper back

2. Connect Rib Cage to Pelvis with pelvis slightly angled forward due to the nature of your body weight being in front of your center of gravity

3. Head Nod

4. Square off your hips in a forward direction and inward spiral your hips to allow for symmetrical loading through your hips, knees and ankles.

Efficient Running Mechanics:
There are many strategies for efficient running and this is likely due to there are individual issues for each type of runner that best meets their needs. We are not attempting to fill a running coach role as a private consult is needed to provide individual recommendations. However, we will share truisms that will allow most running styles to maximize efficiently by limiting asymmetrical loading.

1. Maintain a “Stacked Upper Back”

2. Maintain a “Vertical Pelvis”

3. Transfer to the inside of the foot at toe off so that your inner thigh stabilizers are involved in push-off

When walking from neutral spine with the proper mechanics you should benefit from a slight propulsion at push off if you are able to maintain an inward spiral throughout the stance phase. “Inward Spiral” is only accessible if your pelvis is maintained in a neutral (vertical position) which is only accessible neurologically if you maintain a “Stacked Upper Back”. A “Head Nod” helps you maintain a Stacked Upper Back.

Strategies for maintaining a Stacked Upper Back: Chest Lift Series at SymFit3 level strengthens your lower traps sufficiently enough to allow you to keep your shoulder blades in their neutral position on the rib cage during running
Strategies for maintaining a Head Nod: Head Nod Series at SymFit3 level strengthens the muscles under the base of the neck that stabilize the skull in neutral during Running
Strategies for maintaining a Neutral Pelvis: Pelvic Curl Series at SymFit3 level strengthens the lower abdominals ability to maintain neutral pelvis positioning during Running.
Strategies for maintaining an Inward Spiral: Lunge Series at SymFit3 level strengthens the abdominals ability to maintain neutral hip positioning during Running.