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Walking Gait

Stance Period—period of the walking gait where the foot is in contact with the surface below

Initial Contact Phase (IC)

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Heel Strike begins the IC, which is the first phase of the stance period

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Positions the lower limb to support upper body weight

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Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings, and Adductor Magnus stabilizes the lower limb by pulling back on the bony pelvis

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Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, and Tensor Fascia Latae minimize downward tilt by lateral tilting action

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Quadriceps (Vastus muscles and Rectus Femoris) extend the leg at the knee in preparation for heel strike

Load Response Phase (LR)

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Phase where the lower limb responds to the loading of the upper body weight

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Lower limb rolls forward on the heel to help sustain forward momentum

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Heel Rocker Action is rolling forward, which brings the foot in full contact with surface

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Foot Flat is when the foot is in full contact and marks the end of LR

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Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings, and Adductor Magnus stabilizes the lower limb by pulling back on the bony pelvis

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Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, and Tensor Fascia Latae minimize downward tilt by lateral tilting action

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Quadriceps (Vastus muscles and Rectus Femoris) opposes the tendency of the leg to be flexed at the knee

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Dorsiflexors of the foot (Tibialis Anterior, Extensor Hallucis Longus, and Extensor Digitorum Longus) resist plantarflexion and defines heel rocker action

Mid Stance Phase (MST)

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Ankle Rocker Action is the forward rolling forward of the lower limb over the ankle to support the forward body momentum during MST

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Ankle rocker action brings the lower limb directly over the fully planted foot

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Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, and Tensor Fascia Latae minimize downward tilt by lateral tilting action

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Gastrocnemius and Soleus resist forward movement of the leg at the ankle joint and define ankle rocker action

Terminal Stance Phase (TST)

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Heel Off begins this phase with the raising of the heel

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Forefoot Rocker Action follows the heel off with the lower limb rolling forward around the metatarsophalangeal joints to sustain forward body momentum

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Tensor Fascia Latae minimizes downward tilt by lateral tilting action

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Adductor Longus flexes the thigh which accelerates forward movement

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Gastrocnemius and Soleus backward pull on the leg and plantar flex which leads to heel rise and defines the forefoot rocker action by the continued restraint of forward leg motion

Pre Swing Phase (PSW)

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During this phase the toes progressively roll off from the surface below

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Toe Off ends this phase as the distal end of the big toe finally comes off

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Adductor Longus flexes the thigh which accelerates forward movement

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Dorsiflexors of the foot (Tibialis Anterior, Extensor Hallucis Longus, and Extensor Digitorum Longus) dorsiflex the foot to help clear the toes from the ground following toe off

Swing Period—period of the walking gait where the foot is swung forward above the surface below

Initial Swing Phase (ISW)

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During this phase, the lower limb is lifted above the surface below and the entire lib is accelerated forward

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Gracilis flexes the thigh in the early part to help the acceleration of the lower limb forward

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Adductor Longus flexes the thigh which accelerates forward movement

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Dorsiflexors of the foot (Tibialis Anterior, Extensor Hallucis Longus, and Extensor Digitorum Longus) dorsiflex the foot to help clear the toes from the ground following toe off

Mid Swing Phase (MSW)

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During this phase, the lower limb has passed beneath the upper body to a position where the tibia of the leg is vertical

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Dorsiflexors of the foot (Tibialis Anterior, Extensor Hallucis Longus, and Extensor Digitorum Longus) dorsiflex the foot to help clear the toes from the ground following toe off

Terminal Swing Phase (TSW)

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During this phase, the lower limb decelerates its forward momentum in preparation for the next gait cycle

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Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings, and Adductor Magnus decelerates the lower limb in preparation for IC phase and heel strike

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Quadriceps (Vastus muscles and Rectus Femoris) extend the leg at the knee in preparation for heel strike

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Dorsiflexors of the foot (Tibialis Anterior, Extensor Hallucis Longus, and Extensor Digitorum Longus) dorsiflex to keep the foot in a neutral position until heel strike