“Nature has fitted us with these premium quality shock absorbers, called feet, and we can’t just let them rust in a shoe.” – Benefits of Barefoot Training
The feet are packed with joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles that provide stability and a range of motion. They are also covered with proprioceptors which are our body’s sensors that let the brain interpret the space we are standing in and the movement in that space. It does so by taking in information regarding the muscle tension, joint angle, muscle length etc and the position of our limbs in space. This is what helps to keep our balance, provides stability and prevents injuries. But like any other body part, these too need to be exercised and used correctly. Shoes prevent us from doing so.
Our feet affect us much more than we may realize. Numerous studies have consistently shown that the entire kinetic chain of movement from the feet up gets affected when the feet are not at their optimum. Tremendous pressure gets exerted in the knees, hip, lower back, and neck. Thus affecting our posture as well as performance.
Barefoot training, on the other hand, helps to strengthen the muscles in our feet that are otherwise not much used due to our habit of wearing shoes. That’s one of the reasons most of my favorite training activities like yoga and clean the beach boot camp (CBBC) are performed barefoot. Barefoot training is, in fact, an integral part of CBBC and one of the reasons why the CBBC is great for fat loss.
Most of the people who do take the time to workout and even the professionals for that matter believe that wearing the right shoes is enough to take care of their feet. They couldn’t be far from the truth. In fact, most of the lower body workouts and even some of the other workouts, don’t need the support of shoes at all, or rather the feet and eventually the overall performance, will benefit more without them on.
That is not all. Most of the common foot ailments like corns, bunions, Achilles tendinitis etc are the effect of wearing shoes all the time. If you’re still dearly holding on to those gym shoes, here are some benefits of barefoot training that might convince you to take them off!