Barefoot training is big in my book.
Barefoot training is essential.
Now if you want more information, here it is–taken from a post by my fellow trainer Martin Rooney and reworded for us:
We work and work and work at strengthening our bodies, yet we ignore our feet, the base of all our support, only part of our body that touches the ground when we run, jump, walk, squat, lunge… And 30 % of all joints are in the feet. Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? We must develop strength and mobility in the feet.
~The feet is where you can build an ability to feel yourself in space (PROPRIOCEPTION). When they are strong, the force you put through those feet is increased.
~We tend to think that if we buy the right shoe, we don’t need to do anything else for their feet. Actually we kind of think that feet are just something that get shoved in a shoe. Shoving our feet into shoes leads to common problems like bunions, corns, hammer toes, Achilles shortening, athlete’s foot, ingrown nails and more. With the feet we should be building the feet that will go into the shoe just as we build the shoulders that go under the shoulder pads.We traditionally bench press as preparation for competition, but we don’t wear shoulder pads while doing it. That’s because we’re building the musculature that will go under those pads.
~ Many lower body strength training exercises can be performed barefoot. Barefoot lunges really challenges our balance and motor recruitment more than while wearing shoes. The deadlift and ladder are two other excellent choices for barefoot training. Form running and sprint running can be done barefoot – that’s what we’re designed for. But when was the last time anybody did that? Most “tenderfeet” people cringe at the thought of barefoot running, but strengthening the foot is an essential part of strengthening the entire lower limb. The architecture of the hand and the foot are almost identical. So what would happen if you had incredibly weak hands? If you have incredibly weak hands then you can’t pick anything up and if you can’t pick anything up then the arms, back and legs can’t get strong – and it would be easy to see that if the arm isn’t strong then it’s also more susceptible to injury. Start slow and work your way up to barefoot training.
You can also add foot mobility exercises to your routine. For example, take a tennis ball and roll your feet over it to keep the foot mobile. When mobility and stability in the feet deteriorate, the ankle, knee and hip positions and impacts change and this can make you more prone to injuries.
“It’s not the shoe on the foot – It’s the foot in the shoe that makes the difference!” Martin Rooney
Rooney’s 5 Rules for Barefoot Health
- Time should be spent out of shoes each day working on either strength or mobility
- Shoes should be selected for feel and comfort, not look.
- Lower body lifting sessions should be performed barefoot as much as possible.
- Warm-ups should be performed barefooted as long as the surface allows.
- Barefoot training should progress slowly and gradually as like any other form.