Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Barefoot Movement

So much has been made lately in my industry about incorporating barefoot exercises, be it strength training or running. I'm historically skeptical anytime more and more people hop on board with any relatively new training methodology. Granted, barefoot training has been around for years, but it's now becoming more relevant in a lot of the crap people read at the checkout stands (i.e. Shape Magazine). Since the Book “Born to Run” was published, more and more people are hopping on the "barefoot bandwagon" and frankly, many people should not be.

Strength and conditioning coach Nick Tumminello put it best in a recent article where he said "Here’s the problem – Yes… we are born to run. But, we are NOT born to run on concrete pavement! We are born to run on dirt, grass, sand, mud and other natural earth surfaces. All of which have a certain amount of “give”. Concrete however, has no “give” and will tear up joints if you don’t have some extra padding from a modern day running shoe. Plus, if you add in the fact that most folks who begin a running program are usually weak, slightly overweight, full of movement dysfunctions and are generally out of shape – running on concrete with no padding is a recipe for disaster! Remember – “Don’t run to get fit, get fit to run”. In this case, a better saying would be – “don’t barefoot run to get fit, get fit to barefoot run."

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