Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Today, welcome to Wednesday. And today we are talking about gait. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Gait. Putting one foot in front of the other.

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
I get joy out of these programs just for that alone today, we are talking about gait. Why is gait so important? gait is actually how we walk. It is actually ambulation, which means moving literally one foot in front of the other, our gait cycle. 

Ambulation = Gait Cycle

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
I can see it again. No. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Okay. We’re good on the singing you’re okay. Got it. Yeah, we’re good. So, so you guys, so today, why gait is so important is because our walk determines if we could be in pain or not, and being in pain changes the way we walk. 

How we walk is really a huge part of, I mean, being human, obviously we are built for movement. That’s what human beings are built for. The whole point in balance and homeostasis is balanced and of stability and mobility. 

That leads to balance and coordination, which allows us to walk. It allows us to stand on the earth and allows us to move through the earth without falling over all over the place. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Actually it looked like we know what we’re doing it somehow. I mean, we can move there’s we watch some gaits out there. It’s amazing that people can get around yet. They do. They find a way to get it done. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
You do. Everybody does. Even if you are, you, have you ever seen that person who is walking and they’re just all hunched over and their head is like all tipped up. 

It’s called the righting reflex where their eyeballs are like tipped up. They’re just, they’re shuffling along very small. Or you have one person who’s got that little lamp. Who’s got that little kind of shuffle that’s happening. 

You have people who do a March where they tend to bring their knees up really high. There are some who walk mainly on their toes. Have you seen the toe walkers that don’t even put their heels down on the ground? 

There’s so many different ways to walk so many different ways. It is so important for us because as we age, as we get older, as we move forward and do and sit more and move more, like things really come up for us in a balancing coordination. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
It can be just one small movement then boom, we’re out in the pain cycle all over again. So today we’re talking about gait. 

Ambulation is actually the way you walk, right? It’s really, it’s activating, you’re standing posture, how we stand and then pudding movement to those muscles. It’s really your posture in motion. 

That is what walking is, how you stand, truly affects your walk. This is why we get on people about their posture so much, because if you’re a standing off monkey, you’re not going to walk very, 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
It actually starts with sound. How you sit? It going to be how you walk as well? If you stay in that hunched position? Well, chances are, you’re not gonna be able to straighten up very quick. It’s true. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
It’s true. So here’s the cool thing about walking. One of the cool things do with walking each step that you take, you intentionally lose your balance and then have to regain it again. That’s walking, 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC

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Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
You’re taking all of the body weight off of one part of your side of your body and then dropping it into the other side and then lifting the other side up off of the earth and then dropping it into the other side. Well. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Controlled fall. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
It, it really is walking is a controlled fall. We seem to do it most of us so effortlessly, right? We don’t even think about it. 

We’re just one foot in front of the other. And that’s how we’re rolling. Hopefully we’re not rolling because we haven’t fallen over. Parts of ambulation or your walk, right, is the smallest component is literally your left foot and then your right foot. 

It’s one foot in front of the other. That’s why it takes forward movement. Forward movement is always one foot in front of the other, right? Your step length is the distance between your heel strikes. 

As you put your heel down and we’re going to show this later, we just want to talk about it first, as you put your heel down and strike the ground, the distance between your heel strikes is your stride. So some people have a long stride. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Some people have a tiny little stride. Some people have a decent stride and some people have an offset stride where one leg reaches out farther and the other one doesn’t come as far. 

It throws everything off because remember how you strike the earth comes right up into your body. Your gait cycle is actually two steps together, which is your stride. No. Nice try. Nice job. 

In a stride, in a gait cycle, you’re going to go, let’s say we start with our left. We’ll go left heel, right? Heel left heel gait cycle. As soon as we put the foot down, the other foot down and the other foot comes back down, that is one cycle of your gait. 

Your stride is all of the events that happened between the time that one foot touches the ground and then the other. And then it touches the ground again. 

A Lot Is Happening When You’re Just Walking

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
There’s a lot that actually happens in this body. It’s not just think about when we’re walking, how much actually goes on in the body to allow us to take your foot up off the ground, move it forward, and then take the other foot up off the ground and move it forward. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
It’s something that seems seemingly so simple. We can break when you break it down, it is immensely complex and it little pieces can fall apart anywhere along the way and create all these moon patterns later on. Yeah, 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Yeah, absolutely. 100%. It doesn’t take much, it takes rolling your ankle. It takes stepping on a rock. 

It takes, it takes stepping off a curve. Funny. It, it takes all sorts of stuff. Like it doesn’t take much to really mess up your entire gait site. Oh yeah. Bird. Yeah. Those things, those things are a mess. 

We saw somebody get really messed up by it yesterday. Okay. Your gait cycle is actually divided into two phases, right? It’s your stance phase? What that is, and your swing phase. 

So your stance phase is during walking. What that happens is that occurs when one foot is actually on the ground, hence the stance your foot is on the ground. 

And that is your stance phase. The other foot is swinging forward in order to move you forward, the stance phase actually accounts for 60% of your gait cycle. So you’re on the ground a lot. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Thank goodness. Thank goodness. What your stance bays is it begins when the heel strikes and ends when the foot becomes airborne, pretty hard, not too hard. 

Actually the swing phase actually is the 30% of the stride, right? That’s actually the activity that occurs when the foot is off the ground. 

As we’re swinging our body forward to the next step, that is your swing phase. You have your stance phase. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
It’s amazing how much can happen in that 30% of time that can go wrong. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Oh my gosh, 100% immediately. You’ll see it all the. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Time. It’s on the ground. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
You guys. So here’s the crazy thing. Okay. We are normally a very supported human being, right? 

When we have double support and both feet are off the ground or off the ground, both feet are on the ground. We’re if we’re off the ground, then we’re usually jumping. That’s a non-support versus a double support. 

Two feet are on the ground, that’s really a double support. That’s when we are the most balanced. Hopefully it occurs twice during that stance phase of your gait cycle. It’s like 10% of your gait cycle when one foot is on the ground at single support. 

When nonsupport is when no feeder on the ground, that’s, you’re jumping, you’re hopping. You’re skipping. That’s it? That’s when everything starts to really play. No, probably not gallivanting. 

Okay. Let’s talk. I’m going to break down the gait cycle in a few minutes, but I want to show you like, why is this such a big deal? 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Why is how you walk such a big deal? It doesn’t sound like much, but it actually is huge. 

Remember, we’re big on posture and we’re also big on the kinetic chain. If you remember, the kinetic chain is comprised of your muscles, your nerves, and your joints up and down your body, the bones act as cool levers to that. Everything attaches to in order to create that movement. 

But movement has to come. When the brain decides it wants to do something and it sends the nervous system a message. The nervous system starts to activate and activates the muscles and the muscle fibers shorten. 

And then it attaches across the bone. And then bingo, bingo. We have nerves and we have joint movement. So why is this so important? As we’re walking, we remember are a big relationship full of stable and mobile joints. 

The ankle being mobile, the knee being stable, the hip joint being mobile, the low back top of pelvis being stable, mid thoracic, the middle of your back, being mobile and the neck being stable and the very top of the base of your head. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
That’s your mobile spot, right? So what about gait and your hips? Now the key player in the game of walking that links the upper and lower body together is that pelvis, right? 

It’s the hips, the pelvis needs to mobilize. Remember in our pelvis talk, they needs to mobilize in three directions. If I pull my skin, my Skully over here, the pelvis needs to also, it needs to go superiorly and inferiorly. 

It goes up and down. It needs to go forward and backwards. It also needs to slide side to side in order for us to actually create good movement and mobility and stability when we’re walking so that we don’t fall over. 

How many people do you guys know that actually move their hips side to side forward and backwards and up. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Down full circular motion. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
It really doesn’t happen as much as you guys think it does because in this game of walking and movement and posture, we have compensatory patterns that come in and change the game for everything where one side moves. 

The other side might not move as well. Right? Normally when one hip raises the opposite hip lowers, right? The highest point is during that hip strikes. So as we’re walking, we’re doing this. 

It’s an undulation in movement. So, well, what will happen is if you don’t move your hips, then down this, down that chain, into the knee joint and into the ankle joint things, aren’t going to work and all the way up into, 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
What happens if something’s not moving in the foot or moving at the knee, The hip joint, it’s not going to move there. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Exactly. We’re walking, if you’ve ever seen some people will drop in and pronate with one foot and Eva with another foot. 

You’re actually walking one outside of one foot. On the inside of the other foot, there also have a tendency to bend one knee and go onto the toe. 

The other foot is doing a full stride. How’s that going to affect the knee and the hip joint. It throws everything off, up into the body. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
You sit and you sit in your chair and you sit off to one side for days on end. Right? 

A Healthy Pelvis Is A Moving Pelvis

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Right. A healthy pelvis should be moving, but if you’re not walking all that well, and you’re not doing a true cadence, right. 

Which is how long you’re walking in your stride. If your stride isn’t balanced and your cadence isn’t like, even the speed of your stride, let’s say you will, you’ll throw yourself completely off. 

You’ll actually be worse for the wear, instead of better. The other thing that we need to worry about when we’re walking and we need to pay attention to that, most people forget is their upper body actually gets to move when we’re walking. 

A lot of times what will happen when we see people walk is they’ll walk with either one arm moving and the other arm completely dead or the walk with no arms moving whatsoever. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
You don’t wanna move any. And. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Have you ever not walked with a PR with your arms? It’s so odd. I don’t, I don’t understand how you guys stay balanced in a non-farm walk. 

If you ever, if you guys ever know Bigfoot, has anybody, are you familiar with Bigfoot? I mean, you have big feet. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
I know what it’s like to be a little squatting. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Very, in fact, he’s hairy and he’s got big feet. It might be the guy for you. Big foot actually walks or windows of you see it, he has a giant stride, but he moves his arms back and forth. 

What he’s doing is every time he takes a stride, the opposite arm moves forward from the leg opposite leg. That is going backwards. In that what’s happening is you have a counterbalance of limo, motion and torso rotation, which is what we need. 

We like corkscrew, everything is, everything moves up and down and undulates. Right? Right. We were a spiral and we’re a Slingshot. As we move one area, it directionally diagonally directs it to the other side of the body. 

Up and down until we have something that doesn’t work. If we’re, if we have something that isn’t working in our gait cycle, in our walking pattern and it’s challenging us, and we can’t have the movement that’s associated with us, we can actually create eight pain with that. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Narrow. We’re going to be mobility or movement, pattern, or instability patterns all the way through the body. Yeah. 

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Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
You want the upper, if you’re sitting here right now and you’re sitting in a chair, swing your arms back and forth and notice how much your upper body, see, Mike’s got a really funky gait pattern because he’s like trying to do the, I don’t even know what dance you’re trying to do, not the Macarena, but something completely off. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
It’s not this, it’s not, this is not a weird walk it’s here. If you’re moving back and forth, actually, if you ever run, you have to use your arms to the arms, actually drive the legs in the movement. 

The reason why is every time we move our arms, we’re rotating our pelvis. We’re con we’re making a compensatory patterning with our arms, into our shoulders. 

That actually forces this corkscrew effect of the pelvis and upper body, which then allows the balance to happen from step to step so that we can actually take our foot off the earth and balance and maintain that balance. 

Before we put it back down. How weird is that? Does it, I mean, is every already NFL? Does anyone ever think about that when they’re walking? No, they just do. I want to show you guys a couple of different gait patterns. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
I want to show you the normal gait pattern. I want to show you what it looks like to walk with. 

Arms to either side. I want you to see how it changes up and down the body. I’m going to pull back for a second so we can actually, 

Speaker 4
Can you still see us? Are we there? Can you see them? 

Speaker 5
Okay. So I want you guys using Mike. Mike is going to walk up and back three or four steps. 

How To Walk

Speaker 5
Good. Turn around, Come back. Good. Now I want you to walk towards the camera. Good. 

Mike does his first step, the first step that you make in your gait cycle is called your it’s your stance base. 

This is when you do a heel strike of foot flat. That’s when the mid stance, the middle of the foot drops down. 

You start to shift your weight over to the front leg. The back leg, the heel comes up. The front leg goes down into the foot to the two rolls over into a mid stance. I’m going into a swing phase where I pick the other light up and drop it down. 

The back leg now becomes a heel off my reach shifts into the front. I told off, moving into the next to the next move. Go ahead and do that under slope. 

Yes. Okay. Heel strike, foot flat, mid stance, swing phase to the other side, heel off toe off. 

Speaker 5
When you were walking, you want to have your full he’ll come down and then you’re rolling the weight outside. 

It’s the outside of the foot, back down into the toe. As you come off of your foot, you should actually feel your big toe pushing off the earth. 

If you feel that, what you’re also going to feel is your glutes are going to fire up and you should be able to feel your butt pushing you forward. This is a push through. As we walk onto the earth, 

Speaker 6
We want to push ourselves through this world. Now, 

Speaker 5
Go ahead and walk again. I want you to see Mike walking with normal arm stance though. Your arms swing. 

Speaker 6
Over here. Yep. 

Speaker 5
Mike’s going to walk with a normal arm swing. Try it again. That was not normal. So I know him. 

I want you guys to see walk towards the camera and I want you to walk now doing. Normal. 

Speaker 6
It always gets weird. 

Speaker 5
I mean, is this normal? Go ahead and watch it. So do your big foot. 

Speaker 6
Walk, big foot walls general. I got it. I got a long stride, big. 

Speaker 5
Foot come up. 

Speaker 6
And my research of a squat. They’ll go up that high. Come. 

Speaker 5
On. What I want you guys to see now is now do same arm. Same like. 

Speaker 6
It’s like a March. Yeah. 

Speaker 5
Now I want you to do one dead arm and one normal arm, And then come back in and do no arms. 

You guys are doing a normal walk, as you step forward with the right leg, your left arm is actually coming forward to counterbalance. Your right arm is going backwards to counterbalance and you’re rotating into your leg. 

Your pelvis is rotating in towards the leg and your upper body is rotating in towards the light. So the pelvis is rotating. I’m sorry. The pelvis is rotating out in the torso is rotating in. 

So I’m here. I shift my weight and I move. I shift my weight and I move and I shift my weight and I move the biggest thing with walking that we see. The biggest imbalances that we see are when people don’t use their arms. 

It’s really hard for you to balance all the way back down, because remember the joints take the impact of the earth and the weight of our body. 

Speaker 5
If we’re not doing anything to balance it, then we have to actually really watch how we walk so that we don’t fall over. 

It becomes more of a challenge for us to actually create a healthier, balanced walk that will allow us to actually pick everything up and move. We’re talking gait cycle, when you are walking, you really want to think about your heel striking. 

You’re dropping in around the foot, into the mid stance. As you toe off with the back leg, the way to shifting from the backside of the back of your body, to the front of your body, it shifts from the heel over to the toe. 

And this is how we work. If you were marching and you’re walking this way, which a lot of you do, first of all, you’re not using your glutes at all. Second of all, you’re overusing your quads, right? 

Speaker 5
Third, when you’re doing this, you’re actually trying to lean back to counterbalance the weight that’s being put on you, which will actually make you to potentially fall even more. 

The other thing too is when you don’t use one arm, are you only using one arm, just swing one arm and tell me how that feels, and then try to walk forward. 

As you’re swinging it all over the place, you have to use so much more of your body in order to hold yourself in balance. Does that make sense? So the ideal walk, go in, 

Speaker 6
Here we go. Here. 

Speaker 5
We go, mine. So I want you to, There. 

Speaker 6
You go. I can be normal. 

Speaker 5
Back it up again. 

Speaker 6
Try this at home. Try walking with a normal status and face. See how it is to walk slowly and feel what your body’s actually doing. 

Feel what your feet are doing, feel what your hands are doing, what your upper body is doing. 

What’s your midsection is doing, and then try and do the Sasquatch walk. You really feel that rotational or lack of rotation as you do that. Yeah, 

Speaker 5
100%, 100%. If nothing else, I just want you to sit here and move your arms. If you can back and forth and watch what the lower part of you does. Not that mic. 

Speaker 6
This way, 

Speaker 5
This way, gosh, forwarding back forward and back so that you can, All right, we’re going to go back to the table. So finish up, 

Speaker 6
Just sit down with yourselves. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Okay. You guys. I, hopefully you guys could see us. That was pretty far away. We were like a far, far away. 

What happens when there’s an abnormal gait, When there is an abnormal gait, is when there is an atypical walking pattern, right? 

It was like what Mike was doing, walking with both one arm at the same time, and trying to rotate himself around, walking with no arms, marching, not actually putting your heels on the ground. 

Usually there could be some kind of a neurological effect. There could be a joint range of motion, joint limitation. Let’s say, you’re walking in your ankle, our ankle, we have this cool dorsiflexion and plantar flection in our Sculley here, come over here. 

Let’s pretend these just aren’t his feet that are doing it. It’s from his ankle that his ankle drops back and up. We want to pull our foot up and we want to push our foot down. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
If we can’t at the ankle, if we can’t do that dorsiflexion. 

If we can’t do the doors of flection and the plantar flection broke Scully’s hip, then we have to actually figure out the rest of the body, the knee. 

The hip has to do all of the work in order to get this to move. So, and truthfully, just in walking, it takes 18 degrees of dorsiflexion. 

Dorsiflexion is when your ankle comes up, when you’re pulling your foot up towards your knee at the ankle, it takes 18 to run. If you can’t even get up to here, you have to figure out a different, even a different way of walking or moving or a run past. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
This is one of the big reasons why we’ll have people just walk to a Y analyze their gait pattern. 

You see the subtle little changes, sometimes not so subtle that are making imbalances go all the way up. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Yeah. Now there are a lot of different types of abnormal gait patterns, and there’s a lot of different types of muscle weakness, balance imbalances that give into that glutes, glute max, gluteus medius, which is more of where you have a hip drop, like a Trendelenburg there’s a hamstring weakness. 

There’s a quadricep weakness. There’s a core weakness. We are going to go into that at a different time. That we can actually really drop into what we’re talking about, but the reason why I’m a big believer in we’re a big proponent on gait. 

We really want you to understand gait is walking is powerful and you need your walk to not only create confidence in who you are, but when you walk, you’re actually pushing off the earth to move you forward. 

You, you want to make the movement happen within your body. Not just allow your body to be pushed off from the earth. 

Your Gait Matters Because It Affects How Everything In Your Body Moves

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
When you stepped down, you propel yourself forward. In doing that, you’re actually creating balance. You’re creating coordination within stability and mobility and the Body is made for movement.

We have to move. How you walk now is indicative of what’s going to happen down the line with different potential pain points and injuries for overuse. 

A lot of this happens within pain, changing the way that you walk or walking, changing the way that you were in pain or not. 

I want you guys to really pay attention and take a couple of minutes to take a couple of strides back and forth, walk and watch yourself, walk in the mirror, watch yourself walk, have somebody watch you walk. 

Do you feel your heel? Do you feel your big toe pressing down? Do you feel like you’re actually moving forward? Do you notice if your arms are moving? 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Are you doing a shuffle step where you don’t even you just doing a flat walk? 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Yeah. Do you feel your glutes fire when you’re walking and I don’t mean not old man pants where you tuck it in and suck it down. 

We’re not talking about that. We’re talking about actually contracting and extending your leg where you can, where you contract that glute and extend it away from your pelvis. 

Like start noticing what your body is doing and start connecting with your body and how it moves. It will be more empowering for you down the line. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Really. You gotta keep your body moving. We want, we want you to keep moving for as long, as much as possible for as long. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Right. And remember only you can fix you. You are in your body more than anybody else’s in your body, right? 

The more that you pay attention, you notice what’s happening. You can make tiny micro corrections that can make major changes down the line. 

If you have any questions, feel free to give us a comment, feel free to let us know if there’s anything in particular that you were interested in learning about. 

We’re all about trying to make science simple for you and trying to take the intimidation out of all of your overuse issues. So hopefully that helps. 

If there’s anybody who has a funky walk, a crazy walk, a silly walk, let them see this. Cause Mike’s got one too. So. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
All about it. Yeah. If you want to see Mike floss, then that’s one for you too. 

I hope you guys have a fabulous rest of the day and we will see you again next week, Wednesday at 1230. All right.