Although most of us walk every day and don’t think twice about it, improving gait is quite challenging and requires very specific training to make it more optimal. Why do we even care about improving our gait? Because many of our chronic problems and pain are a direct result of our repetitive actions, and few activities drive more chronic dysfunction than they way we habitually walk and carry ourselves. And unfortunately for many of us, we don’t even notice there is a problem until it is too late. Therefore, this training can not only be therapeutic if you or your client has had a diagnosed problem, it can also help prevent future issues.
In Part 1, Dr. Evan Osar and Steven Schmoldt looked at the fundamentals of the gait cycle and worked through the beginning progression for improving lower extremity function. Here, we will turn our attention to more advanced exercise progression for improving gait fundamentals utilizing the TRX, specifically the contralateral split with step; single leg hip flexion drivers; and single leg squat drivers.
Improving gait should form the foundation of any lower extremity conditioning program. Whether rehabilitating from an injury, looking to prevent degenerative joint conditions or wanting to compete at a high level of athletics, improving single leg mechanics is an important part of a well-designed conditioning program. The TRX Suspension Trainer can play an important role in transitioning from static patterns such as squats and split squats to more dynamic single leg patterns required for life and sport. By teaching the fundamentals and properly progressing through the various levels of challenges, the TRX can be an invaluable tool in the journey to optimal function.
For more on using the TRX to improve or restore function, visit our Sports Medicine page and download our White Paper titled "TRX Suspension Training Bodyweight Exercise: Scientific Foundations and Practical Applications."
Dr. Evan Osar (www.osarconsulting.com) is a chiropractic physician in private practice in Chicago, Illinois where he works with professional athletes. Dr. Osar has a diploma in clinical massage therapy and holds certifications from the ACE, NASM and NSCA. He is the founder of Fitness Education Seminars and developer of the Integrated Movement Specialist certification for fitness professionals and manual therapists.
Steven Schmoldt is a 19 year veteran of the fitness industry. He is certified through ACE and has received an advanced certification as an Integrated Movement Specialist. Steven specializes in improving movement and restoring quality of life in the senior and post rehabilitation populations.