one post covering your experiments with walking (Lab 13.1), covering questions 1-7, in a paragraph or two (no need to break your response down into individual questions responses (I am looking for more of a stream of your thoughts about walking upright).
As I started to walk slowly forward I feel the pressure on the heel and in my calve muscles. The muscles that I am feeling move are in my legs since these are obviously what I use to walk. As I am putting my foot down I feel my other leg tensing up to create strong stability throughout my body. The muscles I am feeling are in my calf and thigh muscles. As I am taking steps in a normal space I am feeling my hip abductors working to help me walk in a straight line. To position me to avoid a fall as best as I can I will widen my legs to make my center of gravity equal distribution of my mass. This will also help my base support. If I was expecting someone to push me over I would firmly plant my feet and make my stance wider making my center mass more central. Now I am walking like an upright chimp and am not using my hip abductors. This was very hard because usually when we walk we can use our hip abductors but since chimps don’t have them it was very different. I noticed my body shifting from side to side as I walked. Although I didn’t watch a male knock the bottle over I would assume that a male would be more successful at knocking over the bottle because males have a more evenly distributed center of mass. Males also have larger base support than females making them better at knocking over the bottle.
Stepping forward, I feel the weight transfer onto the planted foot while the progressing foot swings to the central position. I believe this could be broken into two processes: the stance phase, where the weight is shifted to the planted foot, and the swing phase, in which the front moving foot is directed by the adductor muscle before being planted (Exploring Physical Anth, 344). In that planted foot, I feel the weight emphasized on the heel before shifting to the toe prior to the “toe-off” (344) step. As for the foot swinging forward, it would only seem right that I feel my hip flexors and adductor being activated. Planting the front-stepping leg, my hamstring contracts in the back leg before entering, too, its swing phase.
In positioning my body to avoid a fall while crossing a gorge on a log, I would try to keep a central line where I’d place each foot, trying to remain consistent in my weight distribution with each step. Additionally, I’d put my arms out to help with said weight distribution; these attempts would be to shift my center of mass, referred to by our textbook as “the balance point” (344). Having balance would be essential in crossing the gorge. As for a stance to prevent being pushed over by someone, I’d take a wide stance and lean slightly into the direction of the force in hopes that my weight could blunt the shove. Also, lowering one’s center of gravity can improve balance, therefore helping to prevent being knocked over.
My upper body felt significantly stiffer when keeping my legs parallel while walking. Lacking adductor activation while walking this way, my hips and, consequently, the entire upper body were substantially more still and uncomfortable. Lastly, my knees didn’t agree with the movement, as they wanted to swing inward rather than follow “parasagittal” planes.
I was able to knock over the bottle comfortably, but I’ll be interested to read the majority of the group’s findings. I believe males’ center of gravity is more distributed than females, who tend to have a lower center of gravity. Recently, there was a trend online where you plant your knees on the ground and hands behind your back to eventually lower your upper body to the ground. People would lower their upper bodies either in a controlled manner or be utterly incapable and fall to the ground. The latter case was mostly males, as their center of gravity distribution led to almost impossible difficulty in lowering their torso controllably. Females, however, can do this with ease, it seems, because of their lower centers of gravity and better balance in such a position.
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