20 Nov The beauty of strong feet
This week’s post is borrowed from from Damon Moschetto, a trainer and gym owner in Naples, Florida, (land of the 365 flip flop weather) and is all about your feet. Not about socks, but about the toes and feet that you put in your socks.
One solution to why your feet hurt, and also how you can improve your performance is training barefoot! I know, I know, you think I am crazy but I have been training either barefoot or in a minimalist shoe for several years and my feet have never been better.
This flies in the face of many doctors who usually recommend some type of support or arch but what we have found is that actually can make it worse!
Current research is beginning to mount in the opposite direction.
On the other end of the spectrum barefoot training is not for everyone. There are many different details that go into it.
Some of the benefits include:
- You may develop a more natural gait and strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the foot.
- Removing the heel lift of most shoes helps the Achilles tendon and calf muscle stretch and lengthen and may reduce injuries, such as calf pulls, plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis caused by short, tight tissues.
- Runners will learn to land on the mid-foot rather than the heel. The heel strike during running only came about because of the excessive padding of running shoes, but research shows this isn’t the most effective natural running stride. Landing on the heel is essentially putting on the breaks every step. The most efficient runners land on the mid-foot and keep their strides smooth, light and flowing. Landing on the mid foot also allows your arches to act as natural shock absorbers.
- You may improve balance and proprioception. Without shoes, you activate the smaller muscles in your feet, ankles, legs, and hips that are responsible for better balance and coordination.
- You may feel more grounded. Being barefoot helps you improve balance, but it also helps you stay grounded and connected with your environment. You’ll learn to spread your toes and expand your foot while it becomes a more solid and connected base that supports all your movements.
- Burn more calories-need I say more?
Hi BarSculpt community – it is Sandy here and I just have to comment on Damon’s article.
When I started taking BarSculpt classes a couple of years ago every time I went to class the bottom of my feet would start to ache just 30 seconds into the warm up and the pain would persist for the entire class. I would wince and try to power through the pain but it left me feeling discouraged and would sometimes result in my avoiding class.
I am a severe over-pronater with a completely flat foot and when I went to get fitted for proper walking shoes a year ago the shoe guy pulled out the biggest, heaviest pair of stability shoes on the market. I wore the shoes for a while but they did not help with the pain I felt in BarSculpt or really when doing any sort of long-term cardio routine. It wasn’t until I started taking BarSculpt at least three times a week and really focusing on my form (and ab engagement) that the pain disappeared. In fact it wasn’t until I read Damon’s post about foot pain that I even remembered the pain I used to have in class! For me I believe that working out sans shoes (but with cute socks!) helped build the muscles of my foot and allows me to cardio boost and more pain free! I have also given up on those clunky stabilizer shoes; earlier this year I transitioned into a pair of stability sneakers that aren’t quite as anchor like and border on fashionable.
My feet feel great and working out without shoes gives me a great excuse to buy cute socks and keep up on pedicures even as I reluctantly put my flip flops away for the Fall.
We do BarSculpt without shoes and always with socks. BarSculpt is good for your entire body, including your feet. Before tearing off your sneakers or purchasing vibrams we always encourage you to do your own research and honor what is right for your body.