That's really interesting. I just walked up and down our steps to the second floor backwards, just to see how it would feel. Down was a lot easier than up. That is probably because when you do step aerobics, you always go up forwards and down backwards. (I never thought abou that before.)
Back when I used to do the eliptical every week day, I always made sure to do backwards as many minutes as I did forward so I would be working both the front and back of my legs.
Think about spinning (indoor cycle). You don't get to go both ways on that even though you are supposed to pull up as well as push down.
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I used to put some backward drills into my running, especially up hills..but my knees weren't too fond of that...I also know a very innovative trainer I used to work with who made his clients go backwards on the treadmill...with him by their side of course..it is really smart as it attacks different muscles and keeps you focused.
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"Retrograde Exercising. This activity is similar to backward drills, common in numerous sports, including tennis, basketball and football. Now people are trying it as part of their fitness programs. Basically, it involves motions like backward stair climbing (hold on to rails!), which is great for exercising and rehabbing the knee joints. Or walking backward, which helps elongate the trunk and front of the body. If you try retrograde exercising, watch your posture, form and safety to get the most from it."
Years ago I had read that the Chinese people do a lot of backwards walking and how VERY beneficial it is. You will work your quads, glutes, hamstrings in a totally different way!
Of course, safety is of utmost concern, so use common sense if you try any type of retrograde exercising!
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