Reverse walking is also known as retro walking and is often used in physical therapy to help people improve their range of motion of lower extremities. it is also used to improve hip and ankle range of motion, functional mobility and strength
If you visit physical therapy clinic you may see many people walking backwards on the trademark Physical Therapist work with people to help them move better and increase their functional ability with the help of retro walking
What does reverse walking do?
Reverse walking differs from forward working in several ways. When you work forward the certain motions that are considered as normal gait characteristics such as your leg swings through the year and your heel lands on ground first. Second characteristic is bending of your knees slightly as you roll from your heel to toes. As this occurs your opposite leg rolls from your toes and up into the air. This heel to toe motion reflects a normal walking pattern.
In retro walking the opposite gait process occurs. your legs swing through the air and reach backward with a bent knee. Your toes contact the ground and your bent knee is straightened as you roll from your toe to your heel
This toe to heel pattern greatly differ from heel to toe and offer many benefits such as
Increase Knee Range of Motion
Ratlam walking helps to increase the extension and knee range of motion after any knee injury knee surgery for knee arthritis you may suffer from loss of knee extension while walking backward your bent knee is extended fully and your range of motion is increased
Improve Quadriceps Function
Reverse walking is also helpful in improving the function of your quadriceps muscles on your upper thighs exercises like quad sets and short are quards. It also help to improve quad strength your physical therapist also use reverse walking as an option to improve quad function because when you walk backwards your quad is active while your knee is straightening as you move from toe to heel.
Improve Hamstring Flexibility
If you are suffering from tight hamstrings your physical therapist may walk you in backward direction on the treadmill to improve the flexibility of this muscle group you have strings are located at the back of your upper thighs and the work to bend your knees and extend your hips
When you walk backward you hamstrings contracts to bend your knee as it is swinging through the air then your hamstring stretch as you roll from your toes to heel and your knee straighten
Improve gait and walking
It is one of the most essential exercise to improve gait characteristics after an injury surgery your illness by walking in backward direction your gait may be reset and it improves your ability to work forward if you are suffering from balance and mobility problems your physical therapist will for sure include reverse walking in your rehabilitation program