Recently at physio my physiotherapist had me walking backwards and she suggested I keep doing it at home. True confessions: I haven’t. My house is too small and it’s full of things!
The thing is though I don’t limp when walking backwards and I do when walking forwards.
It also helps with extension, one of the goals of physiotherapy.
“Reverse walking may help increase knee extension range of motion. If you have a knee injury, knee surgery, or knee arthritis, you may have a loss of knee extension, which is your knee’s ability to straighten. While walking backward, your bent knee straightens fully while you are moving from your toes onto your heel.”
Turns out there are lot of good things that reverse walking can do. See What Does Reverse Walking Do?
It’s also the latest exercise trend in Japan, mentioned in this article about reasons to walk in the wet and the dark.
And of course it’s a trend on Tick Tok. See The Latest TikTok Trend Has People Walking Backward On the Treadmill—Here’s How It Benefits Your Body
“Walking backward has been shown to help improve the strength of the quads and calf muscles, and reduce pain in the knee, Dr. Hashish explains. In fact, it’s sometimes promoted for individuals with knee joint arthritis to help alleviate pain and improve their mobility.”
“Another benefit? Walking backward effectively forces the knee joint to straighten.”
“Walking backward is commonly promoted for individuals who lack knee range of motion, such as following ACL reconstruction, where one of the principal deficits is the inability to straighten out the knee,” says Dr. Hashish.
How about you? Have you tried walking backwards as either a physio thing or a fitness thing?
2 thoughts on “Walking backwards, sure, but why?”
My PT recommended this for me as well (for knee related stuff). She suggested I walk backwards up a hill… in public (since there are no hills in my house). When I declined that suggestion she said doing backward step-ups would have the same effect, so I do that instead (on an aerobic adjustable-height stepper thing, not on real stairs). Not suggesting you do this, but might be worth checking if there are other options besides walking thru crowded house backwards. 🙂