It goes without saying that the two most popular exercises for barefoot training are variations of both the squat and deadlift. This connection to the ground provides feedback that makes you feel strong, safe, and secure during those movements.
Did you know that your feet have the capability to do everything that your hands can do?! This is pretty amazing and also absurd to think about. Eating, writing, and TYPING THIS BLOG POST! Ahhh! At least that is my excuse for any typos or grammatical errors.
While we love doing both exercises, today we are addressing a far less common yet equally important component to barefoot training. Drum roll please....DYNAMIC MOVEMENT. This is an exercise that involves a combination of forward, backward, side to side, and rotation. These are athletic based agility drills that you experience on a day to day basis. Some examples would include running, jumping, and skipping.
During dynamic movement, going barefoot will allow for greater kinesthetic and proprioceptive feedback. This allows the individual to auto regulate their movement accordingly, which ultimately leads to the potential for greater overall movement quality.
Certain things that you normally do not feel or appreciate while moving in shoes, you will suddenly become aware of when barefoot. This feeling and association of mind to body and vice versa is extremely important in understanding your movement inefficiencies.
A common and understandable hesitation to doing these movements barefoot is the ingrained idea that it will hurt their feet or that the protection that a shoe provides is necessary. This is why we always suggest you start slow and progress from there. We wrote an earlier blog on Top myths about barefoot training that addressed those concerns.
Your feet are natural shock absorbers and should be able to endure more force than any other part of the body. As we age and spend more time in our sneakers, this anatomical advantage is weakened significantly.
A great dynamic exercise that gets the feet and whole body fired up is the A-Skip.
1. Start off by just marching in place - 3-5 each side
2. Add a bounce in place
3. Begin moving forward
While we will always enjoy some killer squats and deadlifts, next time you are at the gym with your Pedestals on give some dynamic movements a go and let us know what you think!