Last week I shared the key elements to look at in a gait analysis and a few key areas that often need more attention and training. Today, I’ll share my favourite exercises to help restore optimal gait mechanics in most people.

 

Step 1: Start with restoration of t-spine rotation

It is a good idea to re-assess gait after doing this exercise because you usually see a marked difference and the client often feels it

Mat picks:

Supine t-spine rotation

Supine t-spine rotation – sit fit under upper back; yoga block supporting head/neck comfortably

One-sided bridge (one hip stays on floor other lifts and spine spirals)

Side-lying around the world

Reformer picks:

Mermaid on short box

Kneeling or standing torso twist

Mermaid

Mermaid + rotation

Caddy picks:

Side bend

Roll back

Oblique roll back

½ roll back lasso arms

Port de bras

Push thru: Saw

Prone hip extension + spine rotation

Standing butterfly

Standing squat – include flexing of upper t-spine)

High bridge (aka “the worm”)

Chair picks:

Kneeling mermaid

Seated mermaid

Prone rotation 1 (arm extended to side)

Sideways Roll down to pedal

Side leg extension 1

Side leg extension 2

Overall to align hips and ribs so t-spine moves better:

Neutral bridge

Side bridge

Side plank on reformer

 

Step 2: Work with pelvis and feet and the integration of the two parts

Here you toggle back and forth between working with the pelvis and feet. There is no set order and exercise choices will depend on what people can do with ease. If there are any contraindications for pelvic movement based on pre-existing conditions these obviously need to be taken into consideration.

Pelvic exercise picks:

Tilts

Rotations

Circles

Figure 8’s

One-sided bridge

Standing squat – paying attention to bone rhythms of pelvis

Standing hip hinge

Pelvic motions while seated on a sit fit

Foot exercise picks:

Seated towel slides forward and back

Seated towel slides in figure-8 motion

Foot in theraband

  • flex/point
  • side to side waves
  • circles
  • drawing the alphabet

Big toe in theraband

  • flex/point
  • side to side
  • circles
  • figure-8’s

Footwork on reformer

Prone heel reach

Supine with feet on sit fit

  • Forward and backward rocking – must keep heels and toes on cushion continuously to facilitate ankle mobility
  • Side to side rolling
  • Circles