The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Walking Softly Benefits Olympic Wrestler

Reader Dennis is an Olympic Medalist in wrestling. He is the student who asked me how to walk without shocking his joints in the post Walk Lightly - Shock Absorption for Happier Joints.

Not long after, I saw Dennis running by at a fast clip, with beautiful neutral spine, good leg and foot alignment, and a light landing with each foot-fall. I asked him why he had asked about running lightly when his running was great. He said he had changed to running lightly after I worked with him on it. I asked if it made a difference and he laughed, "Of course. It used to hurt."

Dennis is muscular and squarely built. He used to leave an impression on the floor when he walked, and had knee, neck, and lower back pain after running.

Getting good exercise with healthy impact is fun, feels good, helps bone density, and probably is good for many body systems that benefit by movement. Getting healthy exercise is possible without jarring landings and transmitting damaging force to the joints. Dennis did several things to stop injuring his joints during movement:

  • Stopped letting his arches flatten downward. Using his own leg and ankle muscles, Dennis held neutral foot position maintaining a good arch without needing any inserts or special running shoe - Arch Support Is Not From Shoes.

  • Stopped letting the knees bend inward toward each other when running, and held neutral foot position - Healthy Knees.

  • Held upright head and neck position instead of jutting the chin forward - Common Exercises Teach Upper Back and Neck Pain.

Using the information in my classes, Dennis fixed recurring ankle injuries, and various back neck and other joint pain and went on to win medals in wrestling. His stories and photos will follow in posts to come.


Run feet photo (not of Dennis) by Amodiovalerio Verde


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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.