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Best 10 gait training exercises

Gait training is the process of improving your walking function and mechanics through specific exercises and methods. It can help you recover from injuries, surgeries, or neurological conditions that affect your gait. Here are some of the best gait training exercises that you can do at home or with a physical therapist:

1. Seated Marching: Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Lift one leg at a time toward your chest, as high as possible, and then place it back down. Repeat with the other leg. This exercise improves hip and knee flexion, which is essential for swinging your leg forward during walking.

2. Flamingo Stands: Stand on one leg while holding onto a stable support, such as a wall or a railing. Focus on maintaining balance and stability. Strengthen the standing leg and improve hip and ankle mobility in the lifted leg.

3. Knee Extension: Sit on the edge of a chair. Extend one leg straight out in front of you. Bend the knee back down. Repeat with the other leg. This exercise enhances knee stability and range of motion.

4. Side Leg Raises: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Lift one leg out to the side, keeping it straight. Lower it back down. Alternate between legs. This exercise strengthens hip abductors and improves balance.

5. Toe Taps: Sit on a chair or bed. Tap your toes on the floor alternately. This exercise activates calf muscles and ankle mobility.

6. Heel and Toe Raises: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your heels or toes off the ground, alternately. This exercise improves ankle dorsiflexion and plantar flexion, which are necessary for pushing off and landing the foot during walking.

7. Sit to Stand: Sit on a chair or bed. Stand up without using your arms and then sit back down. This exercise improves the strength and power of your legs and core muscles, as well as the coordination of your body.

8. Walking Forward, Backward, sideways, or on a curve: Practice walking in different directions and patterns, with or without an assistive device. This exercise challenges your balance, coordination, and adaptability to various terrains and situations.

9. Arm Swings: While walking, swing your arms in sync with your legs. This exercise helps with the rhythm and fluidity of your gait, as well as the stability of your trunk.

10. Visualize Walking: Before or after walking, mentally rehearse the steps and movements involved in walking. This exercise helps stimulate the brain and nervous system to rewire and recover the neural pathways that control walking.

These are some of the best gait training exercises that can help you improve your walking abilities. However, each person may have different needs and goals, depending on the type and extent of their condition. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a physical therapist for a personalized gait training program that suits your abilities and preferences.

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