It’s a peculiar thing to watch, but you’ve probably seen it done before—even if it was just in old Michael Jackson music videos. With each step, the feet seem to effortlessly glide backward across the floor. Anyone who’s tried moonwalking, of course, knows that stepping backward and sliding like the King of Pop are not the same thing. Exercise research, however, is showing that walking backward may actually be good for your body and a more efficient work out than regular forward movement.
Walking backward forces your muscles to work in ways that they are not used to, so they must work a little harder to compensate. This burns more calories and actually builds up muscle in your feet and legs more quickly than normal forward movement. Working these muscles, especially with restricted vision, helps improve your balance as well. Going backward also reduces the strain on your joints and connective tissues, since you can’t take wide steps and must be more intentional about your footfalls. This makes it an excellent exercise for anyone recovering from a foot or leg injury who is trying to rebuild their strength.
Like any other exercise program, you should begin slowly and increase the intensity and duration over time to condition your body to handle the strain. If you’re exercising while recovering from an injury, work closely with the experts who are managing your care to be sure you don’t cause additional damage. Also, make sure you wear proper walking footwear and accommodate any support needs your feet or ankles may have.
If you’re looking for new ways to improve your overall health, are recovering from an injury, or are experiencing foot or ankle pain—especially when you exercise—contact the experts here at Sierra Foot & Ankle in Gardnerville. We can help you take care of your lower limbs and establish healthy activities that do not strain your feet. Call (775) 783-8037 or visit the website contact page to reach us.