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Why you should implement some form of barefoot training

by Shaun Kober
March 11th 2021

In this five minute fitness tips episode, I discuss the benefits of implementing some form of barefoot training.

I also speak about one of my favourite exercises for developing stability i... More

you know what is up guys welcome to today's episode of the live transform podcast on your host, Sean koba. During today's five minute fitness tips, I'm going to be speaking about the benefits of barefoot training. Now, the reason I enjoy barefoot training so much is because it implements one of our sensory feedback mechanisms to the body, through to the central nervous system. So Before we get into the Barefoot training, the three sensory feedback mechanisms that I'm referring to is the visual system. And this is basically where your eyes will provide information to the brain and tell it, paint a picture essentially of what you're seeing and how to react, how your muscles should fire, what order the rhythm, the rate, etcetera. Okay, now a visual system is the most dominant feedback system that we have. The next feedback system that we have is the vestibular system which is essentially the inner ear and this system basically tells our brain where ahead is in space and the angular rations and accelerations of the head and provides that input to the brain to then make corrections with muscle activation and reflexes and responses and things like that.

The last one I'm going to talk about, which this episode refers to is the appropriate receptive system and this is basically where your skin and these sensors within the skin tell your brain or paint a picture of what you're essentially seeing, so to speak. Um Now an example of this is when you get up in the middle of the night and walk to the bathroom, even though you can't see anything, you still make your way to the bathroom, you don't lose your balance, you can find your way, you can open doors. Um turn the lights on, go through whatever you need to go through et cetera et cetera. Now, for the most part in Western society, when Children are born, they are straight away put into shoes. And what this does is it dampens the signal, the feedback receptors within the feet. Now the feet has a lot of feedback re sensors that are related to proper reception that talked to the central nervous system Uh and it's like wearing a cast if you've ever broken your arm or know someone who has broken their arm, they wear a cast for 6-8 weeks, they take it off, those muscles have atrophied all wasted away.

What also happens here is the brain disconnect to those areas, Those um feedback sensory feedback receptors no longer working as optimally as they should be or as well as they could be. Now, the proper receptive system integrates with the central nervous system and essentially paints a picture of where the body is in time and space and with our body is literally covered in these feedback receptors, but the majority of them are located in our hands, in our face, around our nose, our eyes, our ears are tongue, neck etcetera, groin area, but there's also a lot of feedback receptors under the soles of the feet. So when you're wearing shoes, that signal is dampened and those feedback receptors essentially get turned down. Now, the reason this is a problem is that our feet are what connect us to the ground. So this is where we're producing force from, this is where we get our balance from. This is where we can walk, we can run, we can lift, we can throw, we can climb, we can sprint, whatever any type of athletic movement starts with the feet.

So if those feedback receptors within the feet are dampened all the time from wearing shoes, then that's going to have an impact up the chain. If your feet a week and they're not providing good quality feedback to the central nervous system, then you're likely going to have issues with hips. Your glutes aren't going to be firing properly. Your pelvis is not going to be stable, which is going to lead to either knee pain or lower back pain or could potentially work up through the chain and uh, cause problems in the opposite shoulder and even up into the neck as well. So, if you have any of these symptoms, I want you guys to do a little test here, Okay, take your shoes off, Stand on one leg, get the opposite leg up so the thighs parallel to the ground, then stand there, focus on something, Hold that for 20 seconds and then what I want you to do is close your eyes And see if you can maintain that balance for another 20 seconds, okay.

If you can't even maintain your balance on one leg with your eyes open when the visual system is providing that feedback, then that's going to be amplified when you close the eyes, take the visual system out of the equation, you have to rely more on the appropriate receptive system. If you start wobbling all over the place, you can't maintain your balance etcetera, that's your propane receptive system, particularly the feedback receptors in the feet, not doing what they're supposed to do and telling your body to fire certain muscles at certain times in certain orders to create that stability in the feet. Which then leads up through the carbs and all the muscles surrounding the lower leg, then up into the upper leg, then into the hips, the back, uh etcetera etcetera. So the body is a chain, everything is literally linked together. So if your feet are weak because you wear shoes all the time or you never do any bear for training, then that literally could be causing some of the issues that you have with lower back pain or um knee pain or anything like that.

And again, as I said before, could potentially be leading to imbalances right throughout the chain muscular dysfunction because your body is creating a detour. It's creating um less than optimal patterns to complete the movements that you're wanting to complete. So what I'd recommend here is doing as much lifting as you can barefoot. If you wear shoes all the time, don't go and take your shoes off and do all of your training like that because your feet will literally start cramping up. Um but what I recommend is, you know, taking your shoes off a couple of times a day and walking around on different surfaces, It might be sand, it might be um grass that might be gravel, it might be concrete or asphalt or something like that, and just start training your feet on these different surfaces, training your stability. Um and also again, closing your eyes, standing on one leg, um and building the stability and building the strength through the feet. So then all of the other muscles right up through the chain can then do their job. I've got an excellent exercise called the hip airplane, which is up on my Youtube channel.

I recommend doing this exercise everyday, barefoot at the, at the bare minimum before you go into your training sessions. That's it for me today guys. Hopefully that's going to allow you to get out of some of that pain, get your body working correctly so that when you do go and load those movements, you do dead lift heavy squat, heavy, um, lunge, heavy sprint jump throw, etcetera, etcetera. You've got all of those muscles firing correctly from the ground through your feet right up through the rest of the chain. I'll have the link for the hip airplanes in the show notes, Much love peace.

Why you should implement some form of barefoot training
Why you should implement some form of barefoot training
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