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Barefoot Training Specialist
What is the purpose of the human foot?
It may seem obvious, but our foot is the first point of contact with every step we take. With that in mind we must understand the amount of impact coming into our body upon heel strike and realize how critical foot posture and strength are in preventing injuries.
Single Leg Stability/Balance
Whether we’re walking or running, we’re always standing on one leg. Due to the impact, injuries most often occur during our contact time with the ground. It is imperative that when we’re in a single leg stance, our foot is strong and stable to prevent injuries, prevent falls and maximize efficient movement!
One of the most overlooked aspects of the foot is the push-off phase of gait. Do your calf muscles burn or do you fatigue quickly during short walks or runs? Chances are, you’re not maximizing your body’s elastic potential. Walking and running are very rhythmic and elastic movements that require a 'high gear' push-off. A foot and gait assessment can determine your ability to push-off. Working one-on-one with a Barefoot Training Specialist can help you achieve a more efficient push-off, improve your ability to absorb impact and give you a more stable foundation in a single leg stance
Why Train Barefoot?
The skin on the bottom of our feet is incredibly unique. Very much similar to the palm of our hands, our feet contain small nerve proprioceptors that detect the amount of impact coming into our body. This allows our muscles
to respond and contract accordingly. Any type of skewed response to impact can result in injury. The ONLY way to train our small nerve proprioceptive system is barefoot. This will improve our ability to detect impact and strengthen the small intrinsic muscles of the foot. Training barefoot can provide the following benefits:
- Improve balance/reduce falls
- Improve lower extremity alignment from the ground up
- Prevent ankle sprains, shin splints, plantar fasciitis and other lower extremity injuries
- Improve walking/running efficiency
Did You Know?
① When we move, our bodies take in the following impact forces:
- Walking = 1-1.5x body weight
- Running = 3-4x body weight
- Jumping/High Impact Movements = 8-10x body weight
Our ability to load impact is crucial to avoid injuries!
② Over 70% of runners will experience an overuse injury.
Having a foot and gait analysis can help you determine and correct the dysfunctions that can lead to an overuse injury during running.
③ Shoes have 3 major features:
- the amount in which the shoe controls your foot movement
- Heel counter, mid-sole stiffness and shoe torsion.
- the amount of cushion under the shoe which varies from “minimal” to “traditional”.
- the difference between the amount of cushion at the heel and the amount of cushion at the toes.
Caring for a sports injury requires immediate attention with the goal of returing the athlete to sport as quickly and safely as possible. Acutely injured athletes need:
- Education (how to care and what to do in the early stages)
- Clearning Examinations (rule out serious injuries)
- Bracing/Taping to support the injury
- Pain reduction
- Acute treatment strategies specific to the injury