“Shoes are mainly developed and bought for fashion. Anyone telling you anything else is selling you something.” —Martin Rooney, originator of the “Barefoot Leg Workout”
Training barefoot is great for strengthening your lower body, preventing injuries and improving the function of your joints. It gives you more mobility in your lower body and increases proprioception and strength in the lower limbs.
Few people train barefoot, simply because nobody else around them does it. But it should be essential in your daily exercise routine. After all, your feet aren’t just the things you move around on—they’re the platforms on which you stand.
Your feet, not your shoes, make you jump higher, run faster and drive more force into the ground to lift heavier weights. Using your feet also stretches your hamstrings, which prevents Achilles tendon injuries.
Ready for a barefoot leg workout? Here are some ways to start:
Do your warm-ups barefoot
This engages every muscle in the foot and prepares you for physical activity.
Try running barefoot
You will be faster than you are with shoes, so be prepared.
Do Squats and Deadlifts barefoot
Try barefoot Step-Ups, Lunges, jumping and quick footwork on a ladder
Before you start, you’ll want to take some precautions. Make sure your surface is safe and efficient to perform this type of training. A turf field is preferable over concrete or a track. And stay away from fellow exercisers who might drop weights on the floor.