Restore: the Core program 

Level 2

The Monster Walk

You are going to need a resistance band to perform this exercise. In my experience, the best band available for this exercise can be found by clicking on this link HERE. I suggest you get your hands on this band as soon as you can.

Now before discussing this important movement, the Monster Walk, in detail, it’s worth repeating this: stability and strength are skills.

And any skill, no matter what it is and depending upon its difficulty, can be very challenging to learn and develop.

Why do I mention this now? In order for you to make consistent progress with this or any of these movements, you need to accept that this exercise (and others like it) is a new skill for you to learn and approach it as such. In other words, be patient with yourself, and be doggedly determined. This isn’t easy to do well.

  • This exercise and many just like it, aren’t about hammering load, or “pushing yourself harder,” similar to the type of effort you’d express near the finish line of a triathlon or a road race. What you need is mindful and focused practice at this stage of the training.

  • This exercise and those like it are about changing existing movement patterns and learning new ones.

  • This movement is about connecting the dots and integration.

  • This is also about learning a new skill, before you progress the exercise or movement to a higher level.

So, how do we learn a new skill? Think about it for a second: You’ve done it many times over, whether it was learning to type, learning to play a musical instrument, or learning a new game.

Yet when we look at an exercise like this, we think it’s different. It’s not! Patient practice, repetition, breaking it down into chunks/smaller pieces, peeling it back, repetition, more patient practice, experiment, and try again. And again. Peel it back, and so on and so on.

Also, another reason why this movement is often difficult is that we often bring our prior movement and therefore, previously “grooved” compensation to this.

What do I mean? If you are accustomed to performing this kind of pattern (also known as hip abduction, or stabilizing your hip in a side-to-side plane of motion) in a “compensatory” way (which is very often manifested in running), then doing it differently and correctly won’t be easy, because that compensated pattern is established and “grooved” into your nervous system. Motor pathways, also known as motor habits within the brain and throughout our body, are difficult to change. Many folks never get the true and real benefits of these kinds of exercises for this exact reason. They “do it,” but bring the old garbage along with it, doing the same old patterns with a slightly different twist.

Only with real change will you realize all of the benefits of this exercise. If that’s hard to accept, I get it. 😊


Some TIPS to get the most from your Monster Walk practice

  • Very often too much resistance from the band is used. When “learning,” practice first without any resistance. Your default should always be to reduce it to essential elements.

  • If you find that even when you take the resistance away, doing the simple movement perfectly is still hard to do easily, then first and foremost, be patient and kind to yourself! Don’t get frustrated, you are learning!  After all, the word F.A.I.L. really stands for First Attempt In Learning!

  • Then…..take a deep breath….and get back to work breaking it down further, into chunks. Break it down.

  • Start at the beginning just as the video describes. Start with creating a neutral pelvis, good posture, engage your glutes and quads, and move your leg to the side without the trunk moving also.

  • We can only learn so quickly, and sometimes we just need to be more PATIENT and more persistent in our practice.

  • I’ve very often said that the more difficult a movement or exercise like this is to learn, the more we probably need it!

Refer to the video for all of the instructions you will need. Watch it over and over, then get straight to your practice. Happy learning AND training!

BONUS VARIATION: Once you have a good grasp of the very subtle form challenges in this exercise, when ready you can give this variation – the OVERHEAD Monster Walk – a try.

It “feels” a bit different, placing slightly less load on the hips and legs and more on the arms and shoulders. In this way, it can be a bit more integrative – including the upper body a bit more.

No matter what though – focus FIRST and continually on the subtle integration of the upper and lower halves of your body. This is the element that matters the most with this and many of the exercises in this program.

If you’re interested in printing this for offline reading, CLICK HERE to print a PDF.