Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Forefoot Walking - The Research Findings that Support my Belief

Several of my students have adopted the forefoot walking technique.  In their efforts to spread this information to their colleagues, friends, and clients they are encountering resistance.  They are being challenged that what I am telling them is NOT supported by the research.  So, I have put together a quick outline of the actual research findings (this is quoted material; I have done no paraphrasing) I reviewed when investigating walking techniques.  I am sharing this with all of you in an effort to support your efforts to spread this information and to reduce people's resistance to accepting it.  If your colleagues, friends, and clients still won't believe you, ask them for the "research" that supports their beliefs. Finally, I am always willing to talk with anyone about this topic.  Share my email with them and ask them to contact me.

Click on this link to get the document: Forefoot Walking - Relevant Research


  1. One of the ancient Chinese martial arts - Tai Chi ,actually includes forefoot walking. This style I have learned for about 1.5 years, called Chen style, but not the Chen style that most people know. It was created by Chen Pan-Ling. And small piece of the form contains a series of forefoot walking. My Tai Chi teacher told me the first day of class - we are learning to walk again! I didn't understand that until after 1 year of practicing and realizing the technique and form.

    To apply the biomechanics concept that Dr. Kao has taught in the class, or mentioned in the blog. This Tai Chi walking is a very subtle movement since every move is executed slowly. But the hip extension does take place first, and then small range of motion on knee extension, and small range of motion on plantar flexion.

    To exaggerate the walk/move, it's as if the front placing leg is placed and sticks the ground, and by executing 3 movements on the joins, the torso and the back leg are dragged forward.

    1. Thanks posting on my blog Sleepaholic. I'm pleased to read that my thoughts connect to time honored movement arts like Tai Chi. Maybe others will consider this when evaluating the merits of forefoot walking.

      With regards to your description of the movement, I would offer these minor revisions:

      I believe when you wrote "But the hip extension does take place first, and then small range of motion on knee extension, . . .", you were actually describing "hip flexion" and "knee flexion". Hip extension would actually swing the leg backwards. The whole point of forefoot walking is that you should never land with the knee extending.

      I'm also not sure about your statement that the "torso and the back leg are dragged forward. I believe there is a push forward by the back leg caused by hip extension, knee extension, and ankle plantar flexion. This is immediately followed by a forward swing of the back leg due to hip flexion. During the swing forward, there is a slight knee flexion and a slight ankle plantar flexion.

      Neither of these are major issues, but I wanted to share my thoughts.

      Once again, thanks for posting.