Now that it is Summer, we wish to remind all parents of children with some kind of walking function of the great value of the backwards walking in the sand for children with gait difficulties. Whether they are walking with support or walking free, the backwards walking is the perfect active exercise for them!
When walking forwards a child with gait problems tends to use the “falling tree” for momentum. Because the child cannot control the weight transfer through the foot and ankle, he or she simply lets the upper body fall forwards and then he catches up with the feet. This is not the correct sequence of activation for the walking.
When walking backwards, this is not possible. The child needs to lift the foot first, transfer the weight onto the leg. When walking backwards one needs to activate the step from the trunk, and the foot clearance is necessary. The trunk limb coordination goes in the correct sequence!
Therefore – whether the child can walk backwards alone, or needs some support of one or two hands, walking backwards barefoot on the sand or in the grass if there is no beach, is the absolute best Summer exercise for your child. For those who need support – try to vary the support – sometimes give two hands, sometimes one hand – from the right or the left.
We wish you a great Summer with the backwards walking style.