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Climbing Stairs

srath
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Climbing Stairs

What is the correct posture for climbing stairs, up and down? There seems to be contradictory advice on the internet. Some advocate keeping the back straight and perpendicular to floor, while others insist that you hinge forward at the hips. The former is very difficult, the latter more 'natural', but what is correct? What should the relative positions of knee and toes be on the forward leg? What posture protects both the knees and the lower back? Its all very confusing. Its very good exercise, but without proper posture can cause knee and lower back strain. Walking up even a fairly steep incline is easier than climbing stairs. So the posture is likely to be crucial, especially regarding the knees.

Advice with some visual cues from real life, the most excellent part of the Gokhale Method, will be greatly appreciated. Just walking up and down normally will be fine. Dont really want to run up and down. But do want to do it in a sustained fashion for 10-15 minutes at a time.

 

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Post moved to "Glidewalking" section.

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Glide-stair-walking is the goal so that the weight transfer up and down the stairs is smooth. 

Going upstairs, you will want to hinge forward just slightly at the hip so that your weight is slightly forward over the front leg before you shift the weight to that leg.  Focus on pushing off the back leg as you straighten it so that you glide onto the bent/top leg more than pulling yourself up with the front leg.

Going downstairs, you will also want a very slight hip hinge forwad so that your weight can stay over the back leg with a bent knee while the front leg straightens just shy of locking. Again, glide the weight smoothly to the front leg.

Unfortunately, I don't have any copyrighted images handy to add to this post. I hope you get the idea! 

Try it out. If it feels strong and smooth, it's definitely moving in the natural posture direction!

srath
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Thanks for these tips. I have been trying to do this for some days. I find that I tend to go up by using the bum of my forward leg. Is that correct? Slightly hinged forward, and feet slightly apart, so that my stomach is a bit low between the legs. But the muscle I seem to be using most is the glute, and somewhat to a lesser degree, the hamstring. Find it easier to push off with back leg on an incline, but not so much on the stairs. Will keep trying. I also find that glide walking a lot helps to make stair climbing easier. Maybe it strengthens the glutes.

Just on a personal note, showed glide walking to friend who had partial hip replacement. And those women from Orissa! Is now doing much better with walking. Its the psoas, is it not, that gets the most affected in this surgery? Finds climbing stairs very easy, but walking smoothly .. not so much. The affected leg doesn't stretch all the way back as it used to, making it hard to keep the heel down, especially when walking quickly. But when done slowly, the joint works, and the leg goes all the way back. So perhaps a matter of keeping at it, gently, but firmly. Climbing stairs has helped strengthen and stabilise the joint, so that it can bear weight well while walking. But that picture helped like no amount of words could. Gokhale Method has provided so many tools.

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So glad to hear you are so thoughtfully exploring glide-stair-walking and glide-walking! It's a journey.

Have you also seen this glide-walking video? It's Esther walking in Burqina Fasso:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fYClv-eems

Stair-walking would be a great topic you could ask your teacher to cover in one of our continuing education classes or in a live chat with Esther in the continuinging education online package. I will also suggest to Esther that we include videos like this in our online contuing education videos.

Keep at it!

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