You learnt to walk from your parents, or whoever it was that spent the most time with you as a toddler.
So, if you have a foot turn-out (that’s where you naturally stand, sit and walk with your toes in at ‘10 to 2’ position), chances are, your baby will stand, sit and walk like this too.
Your baby once he/she is at that ‘toddling’ stage will observe you walking and learns how to walk from you.
So, if you take strides with a your feet in a turned out position, your baby will have no other option but to demonstrate an external turn-out of the feet, the knees and the hip joints too.
Let me tell you a story…
There was a little boy there, being ushered around the tables outside by his mum and dad.
He was at that age where he wanted to walk, and his parents were encouraging him to do so. It was really rather cute.
I noticed however, that baby ‘Oliver’ had both feet in a slight turn-out when he walked.
I then cast my eyes down at mums’ feet and there was the evidence – clear as day. Turn-out central.
When it was dad’s turn to steady Oliver as he gained confidence to take the next few steps – guess what? Dad had an external rotation of both feet too.
So really, Oliver had no choice but to mimic his parents’ gait.
The basics of biomechanics here means that injuries to the feet, knees, hips and back are going to be higher, because your feet are not in an optimum position: pointing fowards.
Feet are tight. Calves are tight. Hamstrings are tight. Knees feel pain. Hips get arthritis and back pain is definitely on the increase.
Why are all of these things occurring?
Well, it all stems from shoes, and in a lot of cases, very inappropriate footwear.
I can do the Mexican Wave with my toes and lift each toe, individually, one after the other.
It took a while to do it, but I’ve had fewer incidences of foot, knee and back pain since.
When we put shoes on our feet, it’s like going about our day with mittens on our hands, really.
Ok, yes, our feet need protection, but there’s protection and protection, isn’t there?
As someone who’s bringing up the next generation of people, can I please, please, please ask you to not put shoes on your child’s feet until it’s absolutely necessary to do so.
And, when you do, please, please, please make sure their shoes have zero heel (or what’s technically known as a ‘negative heel’).
Baby ‘Oliver’ was wearing very cute shoes, but they had a heel. It was only tiny, but it was still a heel.
So, even toddler’s shoes come with heels, not just adult shoes. Who knew?
When your baby starts to crawl and/or walk, can I make one massive, mind-blowing suggestion?
Remove their socks.
Well, think about things for a moment…
…I know if I was learning to crawl or walk, I’d get so much more traction from the floor by curling my toes under and ‘feeling’ the floor underneath me, ready to propel myself forward, rather than having a stupid sock getting in the way!
How frustrating is that?! Grr.
- Align yourself
- Stop wearing shoes with heels (and I mean ANY heel – check out your trainers even – if the heel part is higher than the toe part – it’s a heel!)
- Stretch out muscles which you know are tight
- Spend time focussing on your posture, gait and biomechanics
If you’re not booked on one of these sessions, then you’re kind of really missing out on vital pieces of information.
For some simple, effective exercises you can do which will get you thinking about your posture at work, rest and play, click here for a downloadable worksheet of movements you can do to help re-align your body.
Watch out for Part 3 in this alignment series titled: “How Your Posture Affects Your Baby’s Ability to Move from a Breech to Engaged Position”
Did you find this topic interesting?
If so, get in touch.