This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in October of 2022. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxBk2CYmR1M
Brad: Do you experience foot pain, knee pain, hip pain, or even back pain while you’re walking?
Bob: Or right after?
Brad: Exactly. This is going to help you out. I have found the easiest way, in my mind, how you can learn how to walk properly without awkward exercises. This is simple, it's so simple it’s scary. We have put out several videos in the last year about walking mechanics, how to walk properly, and taking the pressure off your joints, back, and hips. We've talked about walking with Dr. Mark Cucuzzella and Rick Olderman. They both support the same idea. The concept of how to walk, the whole idea is how to walk without having a hard heel strike.
Bob: Right, or locked knees.
Brad: Right and I could not get this through my head for the longest time. I’d say, Bob, you can’t walk around on your tip toes! And it’s like no, I’m not doing it. I’m going to walk my normal way, but then I realized something that changed my mind because I’m a little stubborn, but finally it got through.
Bob: A little stubborn?
Brad: My daughter is the same way, I’m finding out.
Bob: Oh my.
Brad: All right let’s go on. Let’s take a closer look at the mechanics and why specifically walking, when you do a heel strike, the heel comes in contact with the floor and your knees are fully extended. That takes all the pressure, and it goes through the joints and the hip, and the back. There is no cushion there.
Bob: Also, you want your glutes to work.
Brad: Ah, yes. We’re talking about those gluteus maximus muscles. When they shut off, that puts further stress on the hamstring, that is a whole other issue. Now, if you come down with your foot at least flat foot or forefoot.
Bob: You should not hit the heel first.
Brad: Right, this way, there is a cushion. The knee automatically flexes slightly, which gives more cushion. Instead of the joints and the back taking that impact, we have a cushion.
Bob: Rick calls this soft knees.
Brad: Soft knees, yes, exactly. Dr. Cucuzzella, he’s a runner and he talked about running this way which can save the body.
Bob: Both of us did that.
Brad: Whether you’re running or walking, that’s the goal. I’m going to show you the trick on what convinced me to do this. This is what happened to me, and I realized this without even thinking about it. I’m walking on a hard tile floor without my shoes on. It happened to be where I swim. I don’t have my shoes and I realize that I automatically walk with my forefoot exactly as we mentioned. Forefoot strike first, a slight bend of the knee and it’s just natural. I know when I hit on that tile with my heel, it hurts a little bit. It’s not a big ouch, but your body knows that’s not right. So, I’m walking properly because I’m walking on a hard floor. Then I realize, my balance is better when I walk on my forefoot because my toes are in contact with the surface. Your toes have a lot of balance qualities.
Bob: A lot of proprioception.
Brad: You can’t balance with your heels. You can balance on your toes and forefoot nicely. That’s what they’re there for. There are a lot of benefits there. The whole idea is, to take your shoes off, take your socks off, and walk on a hard surface.
Bob: You only do that a couple of minutes a day.
Brad: Yeah, you’re not going to go for a mile walk. You may only need to walk 10 feet to start with and then maybe a minute or two in the morning and you’ll start to realize, your feet are for balance, they’re for proprioception and they’re for cushion, soft knees.
Bob: Now, if you’re a runner and young, you might even try running on asphalt for a short period of time with bare feet.
Brad: Yeah, but not on a hot summer day.
Bob: Dr. Cucuzzella would mention that.
Brad: Right. Now I have a concrete driveway and I do walk on that barefoot just for a little while. You start to realize, it wakes up your feet, it exercises small muscles in your feet. It can be a good thing to do. Now, I’m not saying you’re going to walk like this all the time, but you’re just training. You may realize and eventually may want to start walking like that. Do you want to talk about shoes, Bob?
Bob: Sure. This shoe has no heel. It’s the same heel all along the shoe.
Brad: It’s called a zero drop sole.
Bob: Zero drop, right. You’re going to have more of a tendency to hit on the midfoot as opposed to this shoe which is a big heel.
Brad: The heel is thicker in the back and thinner by the toes. So, my heel inherently is higher.
Bob: Right, you’re going to want to hit on the heel in that.
Bob: It’s going to promote it.
Brad: The thicker the heel, the more you feel like hitting your heel first without thinking about it, so that can be something to think about. If you do get zero drop shoes, don’t just throw your other ones away and start wearing the zero drop ones because it’s too much too soon.
Bob: I got sore from them.
Brad: A few hours a day and then progress as the day goes. That’s an option for you.
Bob: Start by walking, don’t run.
Brad: Once again, your balance is going to be better, it’s going to help you save your joints and hips.
Bob: It’s going to wake up the glutes.
Brad: Yep. It’s a wonderful thing. Start out small, barefoot. Gentle, gentle, and progress.
Bob: Have happy feet.
Brad: Happy feet, happy legs, happy body. Very good! It’s serious and it will help you out. Thanks!
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