Barefoot is best!

bare

I love working out at my local gym! I see and hear so many exercise and nutrition myths, I reckon I could keep my blog full with them!

Today I was running through some front squats, trainers off, when the female instructor and also the gyms Personal Trainer, came up and said, “Where are your shoes?! Health and safety!” I nodded towards the floor where my trainers were sitting, and said, with a smile “Just exercising properly, surely you know you’re stronger without shoes on?” she just smiled back, not knowing what the hell I was talking about, and continued to show a guy how to perform a single arm DB Row with the best rounded back teachnique ever!

If you perform an exercise standing, wear no training shoes, or some very flat shoes, like converse or adidas all stars. The reason being, your feet have around 28 bones, a large number, therefore you have a  large number of muscles and nerves associated with these bones. When you wear a pair of nicely padded training shoes, you are not only displacing your ankle and therefore the rest of your kinetic chain when you push into the floor, but you are numbing a large number of these muscles, and therefore the contractions of the muscles, including the hamstrings, glutes, lower back etc are weaker and out of synch.

Compare this with training in level shoes, or socks, and your feet and nervous system come alive! It is foot to hard floor contact, and when you push into the floor, those nerves and neural drive will fire up big time, contracting many more muscles and in turn will create a stronger contraction and you WILL be stronger.

I have all my PT clients working out without trainers, and when performing standing exercises, I’m down to socks for my own workouts. Give it a try, drop off those shoes and try some OH presses, Squats, Deadlifts, Cleans etc, and you’ll notice how much more “aware” your senses and muscles are, and how much stronger you will be – just make sure you have clean socks on!! Let me know how you get on!

 

P.S. Here’s a great article on why “barefoot” is better http://nymag.com/health/features/46213/

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