There are many athletes who exercise in sneakers or with bare feet. Which is the better option is still debatable, as each has its own characteristics, pros and cons.
Exercising with bare feet is nothing new and many believe that it is a better choice than wearing sneakers. Researches that have focused on this issue report the special benefits of exercising with bare feet.
Of course, the point is the type of exercise you should do with bare feet. That means exercising with bare feet may not be suitable for all exercises. Therefore, you should see when it is better to wear sneakers and when you can do your exercises with bare feet.
In today’s article, we want to take a closer look at this issue and see if we can exercise with bare feet or not. In the following, we will examine the benefits of exercising with bare feet and then we will go to the appropriate exercises for this work. We also review important points that you must keep in mind. So stay with us.
Why do some people prefer to exercise with bare feet?
The right sports shoes can support the feet and reduce pain and fatigue during physical activity. This is especially true in those with flat feet or prolapsed arches. But the problem with wearing shoes is that most people always wear them and keep their feet imprisoned in shoes since childhood.
The constant placement of feet in shoes has the effect of plastering the arms. If you have ever plastered your arms, you know very well how much the strength and power of the arms decreases. Although the cast supports the arms, after a few weeks it leads to a decrease in the muscle mass and strength of the arms. Wearing shoes does the same thing to the joints and muscles of the feet!
By freeing your legs, you can help increase their strength and maintain their dynamics and natural movement. When you are barefoot, there are three points on the sole of the foot that touch the ground: the heel, the big toe, and the little toe. The form of these three points makes you have a good posture and move better. This helps to perform various exercises better, including squats.
For these reasons, some athletes prefer to exercise with bare feet. This work leads to strengthening the legs, improving the movement of the body, as well as performing various exercises and sports correctly.
Benefits of exercising with bare feet
Exercising with bare feet can help strengthen and increase the strength of the legs. Increasing the strength of the feet leads to maintaining their proper form, which means that the foot muscles can maintain the shape of the arch of the soles of the feet during physical activity. This makes you face various other benefits that we have listed below:
The natural arch of the feet is supported
Weak foot muscles cannot keep the small bones of the foot in their natural and appropriate shape during exercise and physical activity or when they are under pressure. Messing up the shape of the arch of the feet, which is known as “falling of the arch of the sole of the foot”, can lead to serious injuries. You may be able to prevent this problem by using some special shoes and insoles, but you will not eliminate it completely.
Exercising with bare feet can help increase the strength of the legs and prevent this problem and damage to the shape of the legs altogether.
Your balance and stability will increase
Falling of the arch of the foot is the main cause of messing up the balance and stability of the legs and body. This problem destroys your balance and does not allow you to control your body well when performing exercises such as squats or sports such as running. Apart from this, the sagging of the arch of the foot has a negative effect on other organs and joints, including the knee and hip, and disrupts their function. You can prevent this problem by exercising with bare feet.
You can move better
Considering the previous benefits, this benefit is not something strange. The stronger your legs are and the better you can maintain your balance and stability, the better you can move and perform various exercises. Having stable and strong legs will help you perform exercises like squats and lunges well and increase the power and strength of your legs and body. You can also run better and faster and get a much better result from your exercise.
The pain and fatigue of the legs will decrease
Some people experience leg pain, fatigue, and injury while exercising. Exercising with bare feet can reduce leg pain and fatigue and prevent various injuries by strengthening leg muscles.
Exercises you can do with bare feet
There are several sports and exercises that do not require wearing sneakers. In general, you can do light exercise with bare feet. Some exercises with bare feet have more stability and balance. Of course, this can be different for each person, but in general, the following sports are suitable options for exercising with bare feet.
Yoga, Barcel and Pilates
These sports are usually light and put little pressure on the body. Apart from this, their exercises are usually done on mats and mats. That’s why you can do them with bare feet and not worry about hurting your feet.
Also, sometimes it is better to do these exercises with bare feet to get better results. In some yoga or barbell exercises, sneakers can become cumbersome and prevent you from moving properly. Shoes may prevent the range of motion and proper structure of the joints, muscles and tendons of the feet and even lead to injury. By leaving shoes aside, you can exercise better, strengthen your legs and prevent injuries.
Some strength exercises must be done in sneakers, but for a few exercises, you can take off your shoes for better performance. Performing these exercises with bare feet helps to strengthen the legs and also to maintain proper body shape. Below are some options of these exercises.
training with kettlebells; One of the great exercises with kettlebells is swinging this weight. To perform this exercise, you should stand, open your legs and hold the kettlebell, swing it up and down and bend and straighten your knees. This exercise requires high stability. Doing it with bare feet keeps your body stable and minimizes the chance of injury.
deadlift; This exercise requires high balance and stability. You can do deadlifts better with bare feet and reduce the pressure on your knees. Because of this, over time you can lift heavier weights and make more progress.
squat; Performing squats with bare feet helps to improve body shape, increase stability and stability, as well as reduce the possibility of injury. As we said above, placing the three points of the soles of the feet on the ground makes you do this exercise correctly and more efficiently and get a much better result. Additionally, when you squat with bare feet, you can go through your full range of motion and perform better.
Sports that you must do wearing shoes
When the training pressure increases, you should go for sports shoes to reduce the impact on the feet. To do the following sports, you must wear sports shoes.
Sports shoes not only protect the feet from various objects and surfaces, but also reduce the impact and pressure on the feet. For this reason, you should always wear the right shoes when running.
Of course, in some special cases, you can also run with bare feet. For example, running on grass or other impact surfaces such as the beach and rubber flooring can be appropriate. Despite this, you should still pay attention to safety tips and do not put pressure on your legs. It is better to run barefoot on these surfaces for a short period of time and keep your speed low. But in general, you should wear sports shoes when running, even if you want to run on a treadmill.
Jumping exercises or moving to the sides
Jumping or moving the body quickly from side to side puts a lot of pressure and impact on the legs. By wearing sports shoes, you can prevent these injuries and keep your feet healthy.
However, just like running, this style of exercise can be done barefoot on some shock-absorbing surfaces. For example, jumping on a trampoline or rubber flooring puts a little pressure on the joints of the legs. For this, you must follow safety precautions and do not put too much pressure on your feet.
Stationary bike, rowing or exercise with other exercise machines that have pedals
If you want to exercise with these sports equipment, you must wear proper shoes to protect your feet from the pedals. In these cases, even any shoes may not be suitable, and in fact, you should go for suitable shoes for cycling.
Keeping your feet firmly on the pedal will reduce the chance of injury and show you a better performance. So be sure to do these exercises with sports shoes.
Tips that you must keep in mind
Although exercising with bare feet has various benefits, you should pay attention to some safety points before doing it. In fact, this can sometimes backfire and hurt your feet.
At first, it is better to keep your exercise sessions short and only exercise for a few minutes with bare feet. Also, do simple exercises that put little pressure on the legs. For example, you can walk around the house for a few minutes, tap on the spot, or stand on one leg and stay still.
In addition, as you saw above, be aware of the exercises you do. Some sports and exercises are better done wearing sports shoes. Apart from this, you should also consider the conditions of the sports environment. For example, exercising on the street and in the city should be done with sneakers, regardless of what exercise you want to do!
By keeping these tips in mind, you can exercise barefoot without any problems and minimize the risk of injury.