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Overweight, middle-aged, sore ankles . . . how do I improve my walking??

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  • #16
    i didnt have sound so i just watched it. i always go as low down as i can. ass to grass. i do overhead squats like that too which are sposed to be very good for your squat mobility. the only way to learn is to do it so maybe try the swiss ball. can you go to a gym or somewhere and just give it a go? see how it feels. then just do a bit at a time. go as low as you can and work your way down progressively over time. you will get stronger. there is also a stretch i think mark sisson refers to as the indigenous squat which is effectively the lowest position in a squat you could try and then go to standing without support. kind of the same principle as we teach ourselves to pistol squat or chin up by doing controlled negatives.

    these are my assault boots Blackhawk Warrior Wear Military Police Security Boots Australia New Zealand otherwise i have some vivo barefoot neo trails but no ankle support on them. i personally would try to strengthen the ankles by not wearing support all the time so your idea for only using them when there is going to be extra stress is a very good idea. oooh and i remembered. one of my many ankle injuries i helped heal by doing one legged squats on a bosu ball. but stay away from the cross trainer. that nuked it for another couple of weeks.

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    • #17
      I'd practice all the good walking techniques on natural ground (grass, dirt, wooded areas). As long as they're relatively free of obstructions, like hills and rocks, it would be a great and gentle way to build up the natural strength.

      It makes sense from an ancestral perspective too, as we (well, our species) learned to walk on bare earth first before tackling the pavement!

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      • #18
        It makes sense from an ancestral perspective too, as we (well, our species) learned to walk on bare earth first before tackling the pavement!
        this is a good point too. i hate VFFs to almost the extent of MC Hammer pants LOL i have also done my ankle from twisting it in the bush and then running on it on a treadmill in VFFs. The dog trainer i go to used to sled race and her team of huskies got injuries on what is effectively their ankles from running over a course with a section of sealed road. the vet told her this was the problem so she started slowing them to a walk over the sealed part of the course ( the rest was unsealed dirt road ) instead of letting them run and the injuries went away. it wasnt a large section of sealed road either. So my rule is, if i am running on a man made surface or walking for anything other than the odd few ks, i wear proper gym shoes or boots. ie man made shoes with support.

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        • #19
          That's interesting, too - my ankle problem is much worse when I've been walking around on concrete or the industrial-type floors at work. I don't tend to get it after a weekend of gardening etc.
          Started Feb 18 2011

          Tried basic primal and almost everything else in pursuit of IBS control, mood stability, and weight loss.

          Journalling here

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Jac View Post
            Ahhh, that makes so much sense!! I walk with my husband, who is fitter than I am and has very long legs. OK, I can shorten my stride and focus on softening that first impact. I think I'll try walking on my own for a bit and see if that helps. If it does, I could use supported shoes when we go for a 'lope' together.

            Thanks!
            As sbhikes said avoid the longer stride. Here is a link for barefoot walking tips from the Merrell footwear site, Merrell | BarefootWalkingTips, condensing your stride being the third point.

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            • #21
              Have you tried swimming first?
              Swimming is a good way to train muscles without any interference of weight. You can use it to make your muscles stronger and your joints more flexible before doing miles of walking.
              My story, My thought....

              It's all about trying to stay healthy!!!!

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              • #22
                ++ don't overstride
                To go faster increase your cadence
                count steps 1 2 3 4
                get it down to 12341234

                Your knee should give a little at footstrike
                Too much is asking for knee trouble
                A locked knee may be too harsh

                If problems persist and you have $$$ to throw at the problem
                check out Hoka One One shoes
                they're not typcial raised heel padded running shoes, more like a flat shoe that's very cushioned.
                I've only had mine a week and a half but they're seeming near-miraculous so far.

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                • #23
                  Yes, the last couple of days I've concentrated on a shorter stride and it's working . It's also made me realise what a weird gait I have - I kind of lope along and my feet swing outwards. Taking smaller steps means I'm standing up straighter and my walking looks 'neater' somehow. I'm spending more time on the middle of my foot - I think that's the 'rolling through' thing, and definitely a lot less of a thump on my heel. Fantastic suggestions, thanks!!
                  Started Feb 18 2011

                  Tried basic primal and almost everything else in pursuit of IBS control, mood stability, and weight loss.

                  Journalling here

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                  • #24
                    how are you knees btw? when i was at the gym today there was a man there coaching a woman to do like one legged curtseys almost. i asked if they were for ankles but he reckoned knees. they were also doing swiss ball squats against the wall.

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                    • #25
                      My knees are, as you'd expect, dodgy. So are my hips. But they're all coming right, slowly. If I get my legs in the right position I can squat without hurting my knees - it's all about strengthening my quads and glutes, and lengthening my hamstrings (I think - from what I've been able to work out!)

                      Oh, and I'm definitely getting a swiss ball. Maybe a balance board as well.
                      Started Feb 18 2011

                      Tried basic primal and almost everything else in pursuit of IBS control, mood stability, and weight loss.

                      Journalling here

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                      • #26
                        i love balance boards! i am not going all Peat on you as i was doing this WAY before i even knew who he was but supplement with Gelatin and Sodium ascorbate for your joints. i have to look up some olympic lifting you-tubes tonight so i will see if i can find a you-tube of a hammy partner stretch they taught us at tech. the tutor reckoned it was a very good injury prevention stretch.

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                        • #27
                          Funny, I was just reading about gelatin! I eat lots of cheap meat cuts that still have the ligaments etc - my stews always set when they cool off, lol. But I could easily add a bit of gelatin. I hadn't heard of sodium ascorbate, though. I'll keep that in mind, but for now have committed to only taking the supplements I'm prescribed. I'll check their ingredients, though - there's a shitload of stuff in the protein shake.
                          Started Feb 18 2011

                          Tried basic primal and almost everything else in pursuit of IBS control, mood stability, and weight loss.

                          Journalling here

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                          • #28
                            I would suggest a good pair of ankle high hiking boots for your walks. It would not only give your ankles great support but also will provide support for your feet especially your heels. Or even ankle braces from a sports store. You need to protect your ankles until they get strong enough to go without support.

                            Get ankle support, walk slower, walk more and let your body aclimate. Let your body guide you.

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                            • #29
                              Get ankle support, walk slower, walk more and let your body aclimate. Let your body guide you.
                              i think the issue tho is if you always support your ankles, they will never get strong enough to walk without support. jac didnt G used to say to do the one foot balance with your eyes closed? i'm trying to remember all the advice i got last time i did something nasty to my ankle. one foot balances would be good for strengthening not just the ankle but the whole leg including the glute as all those muscles have to stabilise.

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                              • #30
                                That's what I'm worried about - I want to strengthen, and if I wear the boots then my muscles either have no reason to strengthen, or the'll do it in the wrong way. I remember the advice about standing on one foot - and I think the balance board will help, too. Do you ever hear from her??


                                Edited to add that several hours of walking on concrete (not my choice) with shorter paces has resulted in aching thigh muscles (the good 'used' kind of ache) and no ankle pain. Weird how such a small change can effect everything.
                                Started Feb 18 2011

                                Tried basic primal and almost everything else in pursuit of IBS control, mood stability, and weight loss.

                                Journalling here

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