I'm wondering if I am using my calf muscles too much while I learn to glidewalk.
I have a 15 minute walk to/from work everyday, which is where I try to focus on glidewalking the most, as I have the least interruptions.
However 5 minutes in, both of my calf muscles are aching with use. Every time I propel my leg forward, while pusing off with the arch of my foot, the calves get used extensively to help with the propulsion forward.
My own evaluation suggests that I am maybe not holding my heel down long enough during the process.
But if the quads should be totally relaxed while glidewalking, should the calves be the same, as I start to use my gluts for forward momentum?
6 years 3 months ago
05/03/2016 - 11:39am
Your calves should be pretty relaxed while you are walking. As Esther would say, they're mostly "coming along for the ride."
However, they could be sore from being stretched more than normal, if you are working hard to keep your heel down for a longer period of time.
Without actually seeing you walk, it's difficult to analyze what's happening, but I can give a few suggestions:
1) The way glidewalking clicked for me was by carying something on my head. Focusing on balancing the object centered my weight naturally, caused my front foot to land softly without transferring the weight too quickly, and added a natural amount of "propulsion" from the back. Be careful not to place too much weight on your head, or keep the object there for more than a few minutes.
2) Walking uphill engages the same muscles that you should always use while walking (but most of us don't). Try walking up a hill and noticing which muscles engage, and how. Then try to mimick that on flat ground.
3) Walking barefoot helps engage your foot muscles - I suspect your calves may be compensating for work that would be done by your foot muscles, had they better contact with the earth.
4) Practice by pretending you're walking backwards on a tightrope. The hesitancy about placing weight on the foot behind you will help your muscles understand shifting weight between the legs slowly.
Hopefully one or more of those will stick, and it will help sort out your extra muscle tension!