Walking – The Gait Cycle
Article discussing the gait cycle and what happens when we are walking.
Biomechanics, Walking, Gait
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Walking – The Gait Cycle

Walking – The Gait Cycle

Walk this way!

For many, seeing a child take its first step often marks a large milestone in a child’s development. As the child continue to grow they will take many more steps without even thinking about how they are able to do this. Whilst it maybe something we take for granted it is something that can have a big effect on our body, so let’s take a look at the gait cycle

2 Phases: Stance phase and Swing phase

The whole cycle starts when one foot makes initial contact with the ground and ends when the same foot is just about to make new contact with the ground again. For the stages within the Phases there will be 2 alternative names the first being the traditional terminology and the latter being the new terminology:

Stance Phase: Heel strike / Initial contact

Starts when the heel first contacts the ground absorbing shock and adapting to the surface.

Stance Phase: Foot flat / Loading Response

When the entire foot contacts the floor and the opposite foot is in swing phase switching from stabiliser to lever.

Stance Phase: Mid stance / Mid stance

The foot is firmly on the ground and the body is above directly over the stance foot

Stance Phase: Heel Off / Terminal Stance

Final stage of contact during stance phase which acts to push the foot off the ground

Stance Phase: Toe Off / Pre Swing

Following the heel off, the rest of the foot and toes have just left the ground

Swing Phase: Early swing / Initial Swing

Hip begins to rise and knee remains bent as movement is accelerated

Swing Phase: Mid swing / Swing through

Bent knee now goes past opposite knee

Swing Phase: Late / Terminal Swing

Whilst hip is raised Knee is now fully straighten as movement is decelerated


So just in that one step there is a giant heap of activity.

Questions and comments? Leave below.

1 Comment
  • Yabibo
    Posted at 06:28h, 06 January Reply

    I read your article, it very useful and very nice. I got such a useful tips and suggestions that you shared for us on this topic. You made a good site and giving us such a great information. Thank you for sharing this posts they very amazing.

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