Pilates and Gait

Did you know that the way you walk really affects your posture and subsequently affects which muscles in your body may be short and tight or lengthened and weak? Conversely, your posture and any weakness or tightness in your muscles will affect your gait. The gait cycle is the sequence of events that occur during walking and running. It starts from when your heel hits the ground and finishes when that same heel strikes the ground again.

With lots of types of fitness training the focus is on training specific muscles yet posture is affected by a lot more than just muscles. The position of the bones is due to the ligaments holding them in force closure as well as the muscles that attach to the ligaments and fascia that connects all. Before your foot has even made contact with the ground you will have already tensioned the myofascial posterior longitudinal sling in your body and increased tension in the ligaments that help stabilise your pelvis ready for weight bearing. As you walk, the pelvis undergoes a lot of movement as your weight shifts. If the muscles that attach to the pelvis, whether directly or via myofascial slings, are tightened or lengthened this can have an effect on the whole of the sling and subsequently the stability of the pelvis. Without stability of the pelvis very quickly you end up with lower back pain! 

Pilates is a great exercise form as it looks at the positions of the bones and helps to rebalance the body so areas that are short and tight or weak and lengthened can be adjusted to help create a more stable position for the body and particularly the pelvis. This will help improve gait and any pain or idiopathies that it may be causing. 

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