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The process of taking a balanced controlled step – Part 1

June 12, 2012

When was the last time you thought about the way you walk, turn or change direction?

Most of us go through live moving from here to there around our home, office, workplace or out in public running errands or doing chores. Preoccupied with our end goals, we rarely think about how we actually move about.

When your foot takes a step into space

Would you agree that in the mechanics of walking, at some point you need to have one foot off the ground while supporting yourself with your other leg?

If you don’t agree, can you tell me how you take a step with both feet on the ground at all times?  If you do agree, then lets talk about how you balance, or in other words, keep yourself upright in the process.

The importance of  weight shift in taking a balanced step

Consider this for a bit.  Each of us has a center line, running from the crown of our head to our pelvic bone. When you take a step you need to shift your center line over the leg that will be keeping you upright as you move.  Without this shift, your body will fight itself trying to find it’s  balance point, making it harder to take a controlled step.

Practicing the weight shift

Begin standing,  with your feet place directly under your hip joints, with your toes pointed forward. Let your arms hang loosely by your sides. Your knees should be soft (slightly bent).

  • From this “center stance”, shift your weight to your right leg leaving just enough weight on your left leg to keep balanced.
  • Shift your weight slowly back to center and then to your left leg with little weight on your right.
  • Shift back and froth 10 to 20 times.

Notes: This is almost as if your sliding across a bench. As you shift from one side to another, feel the muscles tighten and relax as the weight changes from one side, to center, and then the opposite side.

This exercise works on building muscle strength and balance and is the first movement in building balance and developing the supporting muscles in your legs..  You can practice this while standing in lines, talking to friends or just about anywhere.

  1. Hi Stan,
    Thanks for this information, having an 89 year old mother who has mobility problems I appreciate this information.


  2. Thanks for your feedback Glen. My goal with teaching weight shift and controlled stepping is to help keep aging and older seniors upright and away from catastrophic injuries from falls. Hopefully the information I will be posting about this will be beneficial.


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