Walk This Way/Talk This Way

I’ve been inspired by the the Run-D.M.C. lyrics, where an experienced lady shows a boy what women want. In the same way that Run-D.M.C. claim theres a special swagger for the boys, there is good reason that models have that typical runway strut, it’s not just pretentiousness. There is a really important function of the “model’s” walk, it’s to correctly spread the impact from each step through your body, it will help protect your joints from wear and breakages, and strengthen and tone muscles However if you try to walk in the same way as with flats, you’ll only end up fighting your heels and potentially causing yourself harm.

Essentially your heels are purposefully throwing you off balance, as a result you have to walk in a special way to retain balance by transferring the force of each step vertically up. Higher heels in particular take no prisoners, in the same way martial artists are trained to always be in the zone, because if you lapse for a moment you’ll get hurt, and the same applies for walking in heels, fall out of the zone and your shoes will punish you.

Couple of clear demonstrations of good technique. Heel first landing of the foot. Knees straight to transfer force up the body, spreading out the impact of each step. Hips swing forward to allow for straight leg, heel-toe movement.

Images used with permission, Left: ©Usien, Right: © Jason Hargrove

When you are relaxed, your body will naturally want to strut, as your body instinctively want’s to protect itself by landing heel first, straight knees, and swinging hips, as this spreads the force of each step, and keeps it in a vertical line preventing you from falling. Its often when you tense up that your body will slip into bad habits, such as bent knees, and putting the toe down first. This focuses all the force to go through your lower body, causing pain and discomfort, what’s worse is these bad habits also shift your balance off centre, all of which makes the the tension worse. The long term consequences are damaging your ankle, knee and hip joints, whilst also a likelihood to cause strains and cramp. It’s crucial to find the right place to train and make sure you change progressively as these two techniques will maximise your ability to staying in the zone like that martial artist, and gain confidence in your abilities.

This is a really cool analysis of walking technique, in the green is bad, and blue is good. You should always be landing heel first, and straight knee, regardless what shoes you have, and I do not necessarily believe or recommend Insolia as a solution

I know some people are self-conscious and want to resist the “model’s walk”, but if you don’t let your body do what is natural you will cause long term damage. Walking like a model protects your body, and stabilises your walk so you will less likely topple over. So you’ve got to make a choice, strut like a model, give up the heels, or end up having a knee replacement when you’re 45.

If you haven’t heard the song, here’s your chance


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