As hemiplegics, these are exercises we practice in isolation over and over broken down in their parts. As we have been led to believe by our therapists, repetition creates pathways for the brain's signals to forge different neuronal paths that can be as effective as the old ones. As my therapists would say, "The more you use it, the more it improves. " That's my philosophy, too.
What I am suggesting, now, is that stroke survivors begin practicing combinations of movements that will begin actualizing the function of walking. What I'm trying to get across is that it takes many moving parts, working together, to facilitate walking. And the problem with a lot of stroke survivors is that we suffer from aphasia and have a hard time keeping things straight in our minds, including the exercises.
I am advocating a different regimen, one that includes a multi-layered use of various muscles, nerves, and tendons all attempting to walk. For example, leading with the belly (or core) and hips pull on the quadriceps in order to lift the leg. I believe that all these components are part of the hip flexor complex. Getting that system to work again would be a major accomplishment towards walking easily again.
I am not a medical doctor or a fortuneteller, but I can say I am more educated in the medical field than I was before I stroked out. Also, I've had a lot of experience in rehab.
So begin with the hip flexors to bend the knees, lift the feet and step forward. Today I felt my quadriceps firing while synchronizing my stride with my knees and hamstrings. It's almost like the hamstrings are pulling up to where my butt is, stressing my calves, while the quadriceps are pushing back out toward the knees. It is a convoluted way that muscles, bones, tendons, and nerves are able to rattle their way to something both beautiful and necessary-- walking.