There is no right or wrong way to walk.
However, there is a way to walk that involves the glutes.
To get a client to a stage that they can walk using their glutes, there are many steps to go through, and I always start at the position of the pelvis and the position of the feet.
If your feet are pointing out to the sides, you won't be using your glutes when you walk.
If your big toe is pointing inward towards the other four toes, you won't be using your glutes when you walk.
If your pelvis is forward, you won't be using your glutes when you walk.
If you wear shoes with any sort of heels, you won't be using your glutes when you walk as this in itself shifts the pelvis forwards.
If you spend the greatest part of your day sitting or doing any activity which involves a lot of hip flexion such as cycling, rowing, treadmill walking, you won't be using your glutes when you walk...
...No matter how many glutes exercises you do! (common glutes exercises include squats, bridges and lunges)
If you don't use your gluteal muscles when you walk, they will atrophy and you may well experience issues not only with your hips (due to underuse), your SI joint (due to an unstable pelvis, not kept stable by strong muscles), but also your knees (due to overuse because of falling forward with every step rather than gliding forward with a posterior push-off using the muscles at the back of your leg) and your pelvic floor muscles, which need to lengthen while working and not just contract and shorten.
Walking is the ideal time to call upon your glutes because everyone walks for part of the day. A low dose of constant movement (thanks to a few short walks and being on your feet more) is better than a high dose of intense movement (in the form of a glutes workout) as tissues respond well to gradual loading and not so well to being overloaded.
With every step you take, you could be strengthening your muscles and bones by spreading the load over more muscles and joints rather than overusing your hip and knee flexors, which then become chronically contracted because they are never exposed to any other movement, and overloading the front of your knees because of your body weight being shifted forward due to the elevation under your heel or simply out of habit.
Getting yourself a set of well-functioning glutes has got to rank high on your wish list.
It starts with
The posters above and below should help you get started.
For more detailed guidance on getting your glutes to fire while walking with hip extension, consider subscribing to the Virtual Treatment Room, an online library of videos which take you through the many steps you need to take, to restore your natural ability to use your glutes.
In each 10-15 minute-video, I invite you to self-assess your ranges of movement, explore your areas of immobility and make slow and steady improvements.
This video should help see what I mean above. Don't try and change your gait though. Observe how you walk and do the above correctives and others you might need to target your specific areas of immobility. As you walk more, your body will integrate these new loads and eventually it will become more natural for you to walk in this way.
As opposed to walking like this, which is hard on the knees:
Aiming for shorter strides - work in progress!
Aiming to land on a vertical leg
At the age of 6, I wanted to be a teacher; age 12, a writer. Age 18, I wanted to "help people". My love of words and language led me to working as a translator for most of my life, probably one of the most sedentary jobs I could go for!