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Paleo Fitness Walking Skill Drill: Marching

Here is a simple drill to help you improve your walking technique. You can, and should, practice this drill nearly every day. You may be thinking, why do I need to practice walking? Well, the truth is, most people fake walking — that is, they don’t have proper walking mechanics. The skill drill of marching helps reset your natural contralateral walking pattern.

Contralateral simply means opposite limb movement, matching your right arm with your left leg and vice versa.

For example, when walking, you should gently sway your left arm forward as you step with your right foot. At just about all times, your opposite arms and legs should run parallel to each other.

[Credit: Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer]
Credit: Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ulmer

Marching allows you to exaggerate and to reset this contralateral pattern. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Stand tall with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart.

  2. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees.

  3. Simultaneously drive your right knee and left elbow upward and toward your center line.

  4. Touch your right knee and left elbow together at or around belly height, pause momentarily, and bring them both back to the starting position.

  5. Repeat the pattern with your left knee and right elbow.

Practice this drill stationary at first (in one place) then start to move with it.

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