Nancy - I squat barefoot but I squat very light. My main reason is that it really keeps me on my heels when I squat. My shoes often "push" me forward to my toes so when I take my shoes off, I don't feel that push toward my toes.
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Fitness Minutes: (114,067) Posts: 5,364 2/6/12 8:06 A
Thank you! I'm already doing some of what you said, so I might be a little closer to trying it than I thought. I'm guessing I'd want to start with a very light weight for a barefoot squat, regardless of how ready I think I am. No sense in borrowing trouble!
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There are a number of things you can do NancyAnne. For soleus flexibility I prefer the basic soleus stretch, i.e. facing wall and extending one leg back with the heel on the ground. The key is to bend the back leg to bring the stretch into the soleus more (same theory applies to seated calf raises which primarily involve the soleus as opposed to gastrocnemius). For foot strength you can do towel "scrunches" with the feet (sit on chair and try to scrunch up a towel spread out on the floor) and pencil holds with the toes. Also, try incorporating more general weight training with bare feet or flat soled shoes to let the feet strengthen over time before jumping it to movements like the squat, where the additional compressive weight of this exercise could create an issue.
Fitness Minutes: (114,067) Posts: 5,364 2/3/12 5:06 P
I've done it before. One thing to remember is that to do it effectively and without risk of injury you to need to build up your flexibility (especially in the soleus) as well the the strength and stability of the muscles in the foot. Since our footware often provides this support artificially it can take some time for our body's to adjust naturally. But I do know a lot of folks that squat, deadlift, etc. in barefeet, Five Fingers or other flat shoes and love it.
Fitness Minutes: (114,067) Posts: 5,364 1/14/12 8:43 P
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