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Sunday, October 23, 2022

Get Ahead by Walking Backward podcast

 I hope you are aware of the benefits of backward walking!  I first heard about this from Ben Patrick, the ‘knees over toes guy’, and he is really onto something big here.

I am now 70 years of age, and I’ll tell you, this is around the age when many of my contemporaries are getting knee (and hip) replacement surgeries.  Trust me: this is something you would much prefer to avoid if possible; and I’m here to tell you that these knee surgeries are completely preventable!  In fact, most joint replacement surgery is preventable, simply through properly targeted exercises.  Despite what your MD might tell you!

The top exercise you can do to preserve and enhance the strength and well-being of your entire leg and its accompanying joints is walking backward.  Simply by doing this, you are building the strength and conditioning of the parts of your legs that support and protect the joints.

When you walk or run forwards, you are building one set of muscles- those that propel you to the front.  These allow you to jump, sprint, and leap.  This is fine, it is why we also squat, and deadlift to build these muscles.  

But remember: there are muscles that work the opposite direction, and these muscles are usually ignored.  And these muscles (and tendons) allow us to decelerate.  Safely and under control.  Walking backwards is the number one way to work these vital muscles and tendons.

The main way to do this is by pulling a weighted sled backward.  Or by simply walking backwards…  There are other great exercises, like doing reverse squats by attaching weights to your foot, and lifting upwards for reps, and other exercises best learned by watching Ben Patrick’s wonderful videos on YouTube.

But, I still think the one exercise that everyone should be doing, and this includes your aged parents and siblings, is backward walking.  And I believe now that walking backward pulling an elastic band about your hips is not only the most effective way, but by far the most convenient method.

By pulling against the anchored elastic band as you walk backward, you overload the movement (as with a weighted sled), but you can do it indoors, deliberately and safely, rapidly building up the musculature that controls deceleration and protects your joints.  I do have a sled I rigged up, and use it in my woods on occasion in good weather.  But, living in Wisconsin, good weather is often illusive, so I start every workout in my basement dungeon, pulling backward against the band I have looped about my power rack!

I usually go for time- 8 minutes seems to be the perfect amount, and is also the perfect warmup.  Use a heavy band (legs are strong, even the deconditioned backward part), and watch your knees strengthen as pains and stiffness disappear.

This really is almost magical in its effectiveness!

That takes care of your entire lower body- you will have not only explosive power built into your legs, but they will be protected from the ravages of degeneration that are ravishing our older people today.  Simply by walking backward.

Next time, I will address the many problems that occur in the upper body, which are also completely preventable with simple exercises!  Simple, natural exercises are a panacea, and weirdly enough, almost no one knows about them.

Why?  Sadly, because I believe that such natural methods cannot be sold (like drugs and surgeries), and so make no money for the providers.  I will go into this more next time, on PaleoJay’s Smoothie Cafe.

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