I’m sure people have noticed my shoeless attire in all my lifting video’s this last year. There is a reason for this and it ties directly to how we both coach and asses the lifts. No I’m not going to sell you on going shoeless yourself. Well, at least not all the time, as you may try it for some information gathering or assessment after this.
We are known at Kabuki Strength for promoting and teaching breathing and bracing strategies. What many may not know is that the very next place we go to is the foot. In nearly every sport we are transfer power from the ground to some other distal area of the body, usually the hand or shoulder. This makes the foot an integral part of the equation as this is where everything starts. In fact a properly grounded and rooted foot will control a lot of the muscles upstream on how to fire and work properly.
On our website we cover some pretty advanced and powerful rooting techniques. But oftentimes peoples feet are lacking in regards to proper function. This is a simple result of being cooped up in shoes most our life’s, and at that poorly designed shoes. Unfortunately just walking around in the concrete jungle or around your house without shoes won’t help as it’s the uneven surfaces that really get the foot to open up and function the way it needs to.
The foot needs to act much like a hand as it connects to the ground. The front of the foot needs to reach wide with the toes spreading out. Oftentimes the pinky toe, all the way along the 5th metatarsal of the foot, is very inactive due to the compressive nature of shoes. All of the toes need to be able to spread wide and ‘grip’ the ground. This isn’t just squatting and deadlifting this is all sports.
In the following video you can see me using some DNS methods with an Olympic hopeful discuss thrower. Once the foot is opening up the way that we want we move on to cueing of the advanced rooting techniques. This combination allows us to integrate function to increased performance. to integrate everything for the desired impact on
Running doctor Justin Dean covers some of these rooting concepts for KabukiStrength as well on an article on our site on the Foot the Final Frontier in Training.
Several additional ways to open up the foot and deal with foot dysfunctions are covered on our website using bands, Body Tempering, and Acumobility tools.
While training shoeless is not a requirement by any means you can learn a lot about what the foot is doing and opportunities for improvement by trying it out even with just some light goblet squats in your next warm-up. Give those feet some love.