Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Exercising In Bare Feet

 I am the first person to admit that when I work out at home, I do it in my bare feet because I hate wearing shoes.  If I go to the gym, I have my shoes but at home, I'm bare footed. The other day, I came across an article explaining why it is good to exercise in bare feet.  

Barefoot exercising is defined as exercising without a foot covering.  The idea is that when you exercise with nothing on your feet, it improves your training while building strength in your feet. If you do not want to exercise without footgear, look at buying a pair of barefoot shoes which allow you the same experience while protecting your feet.

When you exercise with bare feet, it improves your balance, your strength, and helps your coordination. In addition, it means your central nervous system is more active while activating your core and glutes.  It also improves the awareness of your body which in turn helps your balance. Finally, it strengthens your feet which leads to improved strength in the back, hips, knees, and ankles.

When you exercise without foot gear, every single nerve on the bottom of your feet are used because they make contact with the ground.  This is important for your stability and control.  It also helps you increase the number of reps you do squats or lifts because you know how your feet are gripping the ground.  In other words, it adds a sensory experience you don't usually have when wearing shoes.

When dead lifting weights you have more power available because the cushioned soles of your workout shoes absorb some of the energy.  Without shoes, this energy is available to be used in the deadlift. When you completely use the force, you are using more muscle support and power.  In addition, when you workout barefoot, your brain is able to send information to your brain much faster which helps improve your movements and reduces workout related injuries.

Furthermore, exercising this way strengthens the connective tissues and muscles in your feet so your balance and stability improves.  It also helps your feet grip the ground better when using certain types of equipment such as kettlebells while activating your larger muscles in both the legs and the hips so you can use heavier weights.

Next question is focused on which exercises can you do when barefooted or can you do it all.  Although many exercises can be done barefooted, it is better to use shoes when performing exercises like broad jumps or box jumps because these plyometric moves put a strain on your foot tendons, and ligaments.  This being said you can jump rope, do deadlifts, squats, kettlebell swings, single-leg deadlifts, and staggered stance overhead press. 

Although it is relatively safe to go barefooted indoors, there is more risk when you exercise outside. Outside, you have to watch out for the ground being too hot, too cold, too rocky, or too prickly, or have too many sharp objects.  There are certain steps you can take to make your exercising inside safer.  Always use proper form and check it via a mirror, conduct a proper warmup so you warm your core in about 10 minutes. Perform the correct number of reps for your situation and stretch.  Stretch before the workout, between exercises, and afterwards to prevent muscle tightening and injury.  Be sure to spread your workouts over the week and take care of your body by eating and sleeping well.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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