The Anatomy of Walking and How Physiotherapy Can Help
For any fitness level, walking provides excellent exercise. It’s a low-impact form of exercise that virtually anyone can do. Walking on a regular basis can help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol and bone strength, and it helps keep you at a healthy weight.
Walking uses many different muscles in the body. Here are some of the main ones you’ll utilize simply by taking a walk each day.
Muscles Used in Walking
Your body mainly relies on the quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, and hip adductors for walking. Additionally, the abdominal muscles and gluteal muscles help with forward motion.
The quadriceps help a series of other smaller muscles work together to extend your knees as you walk. This also utilizes the rectus femoris to flex your hip, a crucial movement that enables you to lift each foot off the ground so you don’t trip and fall.
Your hamstring muscles also work together to bend your knee on the leading leg as you walk. Meanwhile, the gluteus maximus works in tandem with the hamstrings to extend the hip of your rear leg with each stride. If you’re walking on an incline, these muscles will be working harder.
Deep in your hips, you have the gluteus medius and minimus muscles that pull your leg away from the body in a sideways motion. This control your pelvis and stabilizes your body when all the weight in on one leg.
In your lower leg, the tibialis anterior muscle works extensively to lift your toes off the ground. Other muscles lift the heal, activated on your rear foot when you push off the ground to move in a forward direction.
Your back muscles are also hard at work with the erector spinae muscles. These control the movements of your trunk. In front, your abdominal muscles control the movement of your trunk. If you activate your core by pulling your belly button inward, it can improve your posture and make walking more efficient.
While the muscles of the lower body and your abdominal area do most of the work in walking, the upper body plays less of a role. You can engage the whole body by simply carrying small hand weights to enhance your walking exercise.
How Physiotherapy Helps
Physiotherapists often encourage walking to improve your health along with their treatments. If you have been affected by an injury or a disability, your physiotherapist may recommend you walk in between appointments to help build your strength.
You can regain mobility and recover from many injuries with the help of a physiotherapist. Instead of looking all over for one, simply wait in your living room for In Your Home Therapy. Our licensed physiotherapists come to you at your convenience to help you regain your strength and take charge of your health.