When you go up the stairs, with which foot do you start climbing?
Throughout this week, I invite you to pay attention when you go up a set of steps, or just one step. Do you usually start with the same foot or does it vary? Is there a pattern?
This question relates to the broader theme of finding out which leg you tend to rely on more for stability. This can help you better understand how you deal with balance and can also give you some clues on why you feel certain aches and tension on one side of the body more than the other.
Try it for yourself: stand on one foot (please only do this if you don’t have any balance challenges. You can also stand behind a chair and, using the back of the chair for support, simply transfer the weight to one foot without removing the other foot completely from the floor. Above all, be safe.) Notice which foot you chose to stand on first. Notice how stable you are on this foot. Then stand on the other foot. Which leg feels more stable?
Is your more stable leg the one that stays on the ground when you first start climbing the step, or is it the leg that you use to climb? How is it for you? I’m curious to know what you’ve noticed. Leave a comment below or send me an email with any questions you have.
When you start walking, with which foot do you take your first step? I invite you to notice this throughout the week. Do you tend to always take the first step with the same foot or does it vary? At first, just notice what you do, trying not to interfere with it.
If you observe that there is a pattern, then you can play with it. Try to start walking with your "non habitual" foot. Does it feel different? Does it change a bit the way you walk? Or not really? Some people might find that their walk feels a little different when initiated with the other foot. Why would that be? Don’t we alternate the feet when we walk anyway?
The thing is that we don’t use both sides of ourselves symmetrically – the same way that we have a dominant hand, we also have a dominant foot (the one you would normally use to kick a ball) and we tend to rely more on one leg for stability. There are also injuries, recent or old, which create different kinds of compensations. All of that influences our walk and is reflected in how we initiate it. How is it for you?