Learn how to walk downstairs safely with this useful hiking video
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This is essential for any keen hiker or backpacker
the World - jewelbeat.com
Voice-over by Dominic di Rollo
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HOW TO WALK DOWNHILL PROPERLY WHEN HIKING
In this video, you are going to learn to walk downhill well when hiking. Contrary to what you might think, walking downhill puts a lot more strain on your muscles and joints than walking uphill. A good technique will help you walk downhill quickly, without injuring yourself, and will minimise pressure on your joints.
To improve your technique when walking downhill, remember these three points: prepare your equipment, walk with your knees bent, and use the front part of your foot.
Firstly, prepare your equipment. To restrict movement of your bag, which could make you lose your balance, tighten the waist and shoulder straps
If you no longer need your water, empty the rest of it out to lighten your bag. This will help you reduce the shock on your joints.
Check your laces and if necessary, tighten them. Proper lacing will help avoid rubbing and make sure that your toes don't hit the fronts of your shoes, which can be very painful.
Secondly, walk with your knees bent. The shock to your knees is three to four times more extensive when you are walking downhill than when you are walking on flat ground.
Keep your knees bent and take little steps, especially when the slope is steep.
Thirdly, use the front part of your foot. When walking downhill, it is important that you don't lean too far forward, or too far back.
Ideally, you should keep your centre of gravity low and just above your legs. This does not come naturally at first, so you must practice until you find the right posture.
Go downhill using the front part of your foot and not just your heels. Just as in skiing, this position will help you descend in the most balanced way possible.
To walk downhill well, pay particular attention to the how and where you place your feet. Before each step, visualise the spot where you want your foot to be before you put it down. This technique will help you to keep your step constant and avoid slipping.
To summarise, to hike well downhill, prepare your equipment, walk with your knees bent and don't lean back. Over to you!
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