Where’d My Shoes Go?

As a trainer I’d like to think I try to do most things properly and take advantage of the little things which most people either don’t know of or simply refuse to do. Either that, or I’m a little bit crazy. Either way, I’m fine with that. I’ve owned a pair of Vibram Five-Fingers for almost 6 months now and I have to say they’re one of my favourite training tools. They also happen to be a fantastic conversation starter.
Most people think I either got them from ninja training or I’m about to walk on the Great Barrier Reef. People don’t seem to understand the advantages of being barefoot, or to look at it in another way, the problems caused by shoes.
Vibram Five Fingers

Its taken until now to get people to do dynamic warm ups and regularly work on mobility, so why do we put our feet in an implement which restricts our mobility (and activation) the entire time we’re on them? It just doesn’t make sense.  People need to begin utilizing barefoot training more. An easy way to begin incorporating barefoot work into your training is as easy as doing dynamic warmups barefoot. This will give you an opportunity to work on joint mobility in your feet and ankles as well as light activation of the many muscles in your feet.

For those looking to take it a step further, Lunges, Deadlifts, and Squats are all great exercises which can and should be done without shoes on. If you don’t have vibrams, try doing this lifts in your socks or at least utilize shoes with a very thin, flat sole (ie chuck taylors).

Keep in mind that not all things are great in barefeet. Any activities where a lot of impact is involved will need a certain amount of cushion.  How much training did you do in barefeet in 2010? If the answer is very little or none at all then make that a goal of 2011!  The improved proprioception (balance) and lower limb and foot mobility will greatly improve performance and health in the new year.

For further reading, here is a great article written about Barefoot training by Martin Rooney:

http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/training-articles/the-importance-of-barefoot-training/

From Razor’s Edge Performance I’d like to wish all our readers and clients a Happy New Year! Remember…

It’s About Getting Better!

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One Response to “Where’d My Shoes Go?”

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