Contralateral Movement is a diagonal movement of one upper limb with the opposite lower limb.
Walking should have movement and fluidity. Rigid walking, like a robot, can create stiffness and pain. Rigid walking can be caused by hardware from surgeries, lack of body awareness, or by getting stuck in a pattern.
To walk with contralateral movement: whichever leg is out in front, the opposite arm will be out in front. Look at “The Beatles” walking with Contralateral Movement.
Walking with Contralateral Movement will also undulate the spine. Spinal undulation is the action of bi-directional flexion within the length of the spine. The side to side movement of the spine pumps the fluid enclosing the spine and the brain. Undulation is as important for cleansing the brain as the movement of the body is for lymph flow.
While we walk with contralateral movement, the spine will undulate and the head will bob/sway slightly. When this happens, you will notice your body in alignment and you will feel taller.
Contralateral Movement Exercise:
First, start by walking like a robot. The body is stiff and moving slower. Next, try walking like a monkey. Pretend you have a tail. Bring the right leg out in front with the left arm out in front, then the left leg out in front with the right arm out in front. Really emphasize the monkey walk. Notice how the hips and shoulders will move and notice the head slightly bouncing. Now, return to your natural walk and notice how the contralateral movement becomes more natural and easier for you. Feel the fluidity and energy you receive with this way of walking.