Loose the Shoes

Pavel Tstasouline says it, Steve Maxwell insists on it, power lifters, gymnasts and martial artists don’t think twice about it.

Train barefoot, or as close as you can to it.

Get some martial art shoes, power lifting slippers, converse, cheap squash shoes, dunlops green flash, or even, if your a hard core strength type a pair of flip flops.

Me, I like to go natural, no shoes or socks.

Now obviously employ some common sense here. I’m not talking about going out pounding the pavement or something similar, I’m talking about in the gym, on the weight room floor or in your own home.

But why?

There are a multitude of sensors, nerves and muscles in the foot that when encased in your top of the range Nike Air trainers, just don’t need to work. They get lazy and like anything else in the body, get weak.

This can lead to a whole range of problems right up the body from collapsed arches, shin and knee pain, sciatic pain, hip misalignment, back and neck pain.

The usually prescription is orthotics. I say get the shoes off and get the feet strong, allow the sensors and proprioceptors the option of working. These sensors in the foot let the rest of the body know whats going on, how to balance, what impact to brace for, how much force to contract with.

Much is written about the “ends of the chain”, usually meaning grip strength, but little is released regarding foot strength. After all what is it that takes all the weight?
You got it, the things you stand on, your feet.

I have an athlete training with me, she suffers arthritic knee pain. Since loosing the shoes in the gym she’s noticed strength and stability increases that take pressure off the knees. And that was within a week of me suggesting it. Her arches are beginning to reform (they were half way collapsed) her ankles no longer roll inwards and her balance it far, far better then it ever was. She can’t believe the difference.

Don’t just take my word on this, try it out. Get the shoes off before you get under the bar, let me know how you get on.


Wild Geese
every cause but our own

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