The arena for performance footwear is more versatile than ever, with sneakers that let you run faster, lift more weight, or dominate your next WOD. The best training shoe of all, however, can not be a training shoe.
That's right: training barefoot is perhaps the secret of a bigger, stronger person. And yes, it's one thing, especially in the crowd that makes powerlifting.
Nobody will blame you for not socking through your gym – or keeping a close eye on the guys who sock in your gym. To be honest, research on barefoot training is small, so most claims about its usefulness can be overstated. But it is used in the right situations and it can benefit from it.
The Case for Barefoot Training
Our body is a feedback loop of information. When a part of our body touches something or even comes in close contact with something, it sends a signal to our brain. Our brain then sends back a signal.
That means our feet also provide one Feedback mechanism, but they provide a feedback mechanism that we constantly cover in footwear, and it is poorly understood how much bare feet can act on this feedback loop. The proprioception of our body (consciousness of where we are in space) and its kinesthetic Awareness (Ability to perform movements without thinking.
In theory, the barefoot race will provide more feedback to our brains, which may prevent injury.
) "Proprioceptive training is an essential element of the rehabilitation process, and can not only increase it of power and mobility, but above all, the risk of re-injury is drastically reduced. " Mohammad Rimawi, DPM, AACFAS, a qualified board member for foot and ankle surgery in New York.
Getty Images Jacobs Stock Photo
Barefoot training can also help build the strength in your foot muscles, an underrated way of helping injury-resistant bodies. Imagine training with gloves in the gym, a practice less and less used by experienced lifters. Theoretically, you do not train with gloves in the gym, so you can grab the bars more aggressively and feel the different strengths of these bars. This can help develop forearm and gripping muscles.
Similarly, barefoot training can help build up the strength in the intrinsic foot muscles, an undervalued method of injuring your body. "Under proper supervision, barefoot training can increase balance and proprioception," says Rimawi.
The Case Against Barefoot Training
The argument that you will often hear is that we have developed ourselves to wear shoes. Why should not we wear shoes then? Of course, shoes also provide valuable protection in certain training situations, for example by protecting your foot from falling dumbbells or accidental kicking of a metal bar.
Rimawi adds that barefoot training does not work well if you already have mechanical problems with your foot, especially after years of running in sneakers. "If you train too fast," he says. "This can exaggerate exaggerations such as tendinitis, stress fractures, arch pain and much more."
Translation: This is not something you just jump on. If you want to barefoot the train, I recommend starting with just a few doses. Because years of training in sneakers take some time to adjust to training, start with 5 to 10 minutes of barefoot training start and then gradually add nt.
Stealth Barefoot Training
Barefoot training is more useful than you think, especially in weight cycles. Apart from the raised heel in most weightlifting shoes, weightlifting shoes essentially work by putting your foot into a barefoot situation; They should be firm and rigid (rather than padded, as is the case with most sneakers) and form a sturdy, almost wooden platform.
In this way, you can increase power production when performing lifts and squats, as you press your heels through a hard surface instead of a padded sole. By and large, weightlifting shoes barefoot train your feet. Most lifts that you can do with weightlifting, such as deadlifts and squats, can be done barefoot.
When To Barefoot Train
Typically, you can exercise your deadlifts and squats barefoot, as described above. Any movement that puts more strain on your intrinsic foot muscles can benefit from barefoot training (even if I do not hit barefoot running, something I explain in another column).
The only exceptions are Plyometrics. I believe that boxing jumps, jumps, tuck jumps and similar exercises with shoes are better trained. These movements strain the ligaments and tendons of the foot. If your foot is not strong enough for these movements, cross trainer can help absorb the shock and reduce the risk of injury.
Also try these other lifts barefoot and take advantage of this workout style.
Deadlift with one leg
Deadlifts with one leg are generally suitable for your legs; By doing this barefoot movement, you are really training your foot muscles to grip the ground more aggressively. They also add a strong proprioceptive training component to the train. To perform the one-legged deadlift, dumbbells or kettlebells are at your side. Lift your left foot an inch above the ground. Tighten your core. Keep a high spine, hinge your hips, and fold your upper body forward until your chest is almost parallel to the floor. Try to beat back your left leg. Pause, then get up again. This is 1 repetition; Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions per side.
Performing the Kettlebell Swing barefoot can help you gain more power from your swing by putting your feet up and tighter into the ground (similarly, we discussed the deadlift and the squat ).
To do the kettlebell swing, stand by holding a single kettlebell with both hands, your arms hanging naturally and your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Squeeze your core and buttocks muscles together. Swing the kettlebell forward to create momentum. Then swing the kettlebell between your legs while holding your upper body. Bend your knees slightly to absorb the movement. Once it's past your butt, hang your hips explosively and get up; This causes the kettlebell to swing forward. Press your buttocks muscles. This is 1 repetition; turn the movement on for 40 seconds, off for 20 seconds, for 4 minutes.
Overhead Press with Offset Leg
Performing this barefoot lift will improve both the mobility of your metatarsals and the long bones in your foot that eventually lead to your toes. To do the staggered posture upside down, hold a kettlebell in your right hand against your chest. Push your right foot one foot backwards so you have to stand on the balls of your right foot. Bend your left knee slightly. Squeeze your glutes and the core together. Now push the kettlebell over your head and lower it again to the shoulder. This is 1 repetition; Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions per side.
Dan Giordao, DPT, CSCS is the co-founder of Bespoke Treatments, which specializes in sports and orthopedic rehabilitation focusing on manual therapy and strength and conditioning.