The Da Vinci Notebooks at sacred-texts.com
Of walking up and down (375-379)When a man wants to stop running and check the impetus he is forced to hang back and take short quick steps. 182 The centre of gravity of a man who lifts one of his feet from the ground always rests on the centre of the sole of the foot [he stands on].
A man, in going up stairs involuntarily throws so much weight forward and on the side of the upper foot as to be a counterpoise to the lower leg, so that the labour of this lower leg is limited to moving itself.
The first thing a man does in mounting steps is to relieve the leg he is about to lift of the weight of the body which was resting on that leg; and besides this, he gives to
the opposite leg all the rest of the bulk of the whole man, including [the weight of] the other leg; he then raises the other leg and sets the foot upon the step to which he wishes to raise himself. Having done this he restores to the upper foot all the weight of the body and of the leg itself, and places his hand on his thigh and throws his head forward and repeats the movement towards the point of the upper foot, quickly lifting the heel of the lower one; and with this impetus he lifts himself up and at the same time extends the arm which rested on his knee; and this extension of the arm carries up the body and the head, and so straightens the spine which was curved.
 The higher the step is which a man has to mount, the farther forward will he place his head in advance of his upper foot, so as to weigh more on a than on b; this man will not be on the step m. As is shown by the line g f.
195:182 : Lines 5-31 refer to the two upper figures, and the lower figure to the right is explained by the last part of the chapter.
196:183 : See Pl. XXIII, No. 1. The lower sketch to the left belongs to the four first lines.