Chi Walking Physiotherapy Exercises

Chi walking is an efficient and painfree walking technique. Learn how to walk free of pain here at Physio Therapy Yoga in Milsons Point, Sydney


Habitual movements, posture, old injuries, work and play situations cause stress and strain on the body that build up over time. I will introduce to you how to walk with reduced impact on your body, to use gravity to your advantage and train balance, flexibility and confidence in walking.

Bio-mechanics of Walking

Walking is a series of one-leg balances. Stance phase, (where all your weight is on one leg) is followed by toe off , and then swing phase (where the leg swings through the air) until landing you land on your heel and foot and start the cycle again.

TIPS – for low-impact and pain-free walking:

  1. Align your Posture – your hip bones align over your ankle bones, shoulders over the pelvis and head centered over the shoulders. Check by looking sideways in a mirror. See blog on good posture.
  2. Align your feet in the direction you are going.
  3. Lengthen your body – grow tall from the crown of your head.
  4. Engage your lower abdominals, but don’t squeeze your butt.
  5. Take shorter strides . To determine your stride length take one step back.
  6. Incline forward slightly from the ankles. This slight incline forward harnesses gravity and inertia to reduce the effort of walking and increases efficiency.

 If you are unsure, come and get some advice from A-J, here at Physio Therapy Yoga in Milsons Point. 

Walking is a series of balances. Balance on one leg and feel the muscles that work on the side of your hip, buttock and abdomen.

7. Relax your shoulders – elbows are behind the torso to act as a counterbalance to the forward lean.

8. Peel your foot off the ground behind you like a post-it note! 

9. Land on the front of the heel, not on the back of it.

Choose what you will focus on for each walk. Walking with this focus can become a walking meditation.

Enjoy walking; getting outside into nature and fresh air, exercising your heart muscle, and walking with friends.

    Whole Body Principles:

    1. Focus mindfully on your walking 
    2. Sense your body parts
    3. Regain flexibility for walking with specific physio or yoga.
    4. Breathing steadily and rhythmically 
    5. Be consistent with your practice until you change the way you walk. This may take between 3 weeks and 3 months. 


    Exercises to help prepare the body for walking

    – these are some of the things we will teach you (specific to you) here at Physio Therapy Yoga.

    • Flexibility 
    • Alignment 
    • Connection with core muscles 
    • Move efficiently and with less stress on your body. 


    Walk efficiently, improve stability and balance, and relieve pain.

    Reference “Chi Walking” by Danny Dreyer


    Physiological Benefits:

    1. Cardiovascular training – interval training at 70-80 steps per min or 70-80% maximum heart rate (still be able to talk – just) for 30-45 mins
    2. Breathing fitness
    3. Sociable – walking with friends
    4. Relaxation – walk in nature, time alone, your time!
    5. Mindful walking. Focus on your body and give the mind a rest. 
    6. Memory is enhanced (T Gronwald et al Increasing exercise’s effect on mental health: Exercise intensity does matter. PNAS Dec 18, 2018 115 (51))