Normal Human Gait

  • Freeman MillerEmail author
Living reference work entry


Normal human walking is bipedal, which makes the balancing function more crucial than in quadruped ambulation. Bipedal gait is extremely versatile and energy efficient for short-distance mobility. This extremely complex function requires a large dedication from the central nervous system to fulfill the functions of balance, motor control, and cognitive decision-making. The body mechanics of walking require that there be stability when standing and mobility when moving the foot forward. The further mechanical requirements are the foot has to be stable on the ground and the ankle and knee joints are aligned with the forward line of progression. The position of the joints is controlled by a combination of muscle activity and momentum of the movement. This complex combination of activity has to be well understood before one is able to develop a plan for medical intervention to alter pathologic pattern of gait. The goal of this chapter is to provide an in-depth explanation of the normal functional mechanics of human bipedal gait that will assist in developing intervention treatment plans to alter the abnormal gait patterns.


Normal gait Muscle activity Electromyography Kinematics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AI DuPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Freeman Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.AI DuPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA

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