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4 Surprising Reasons Why You Should Workout Barefoot

Workout Barefoot
Content Editor & Certified Trainer
Lisa studied journalism and is a certified fitness and health trainer, as well as a meditation coach! She spent many years working for different lifestyle and fitness magazines, and she writes articles for us on the topics of working out, fitness, lifestyle and mind.

Many types of exercise are practiced barefoot, including yoga, pilates, and mobility training. This isn’t just for reasons of practicality; working out barefoot can be very good exercise, too. It’s no wonder, then, that keen sportspeople are increasingly leaving their shoes off for strength workouts, running, bodyweight training and calisthenics. We tell you why you should give barefoot exercise a try.

Lower risk of physical injuries

Too tight, too big, too little cushioning … often, sports footwear doesn’t fit perfectly. What many people forget is that wearing the wrong shoes doesn’t just put you at risk of blisters; even slightly incorrect weight distribution or pressure points can have a negative impact on the rest of your body, from your Achilles tendon to your knee joints or spine. Of course, there may be other reasons why your footwear isn’t working for you. Doing without your shoes when exercising every now and then and putting a more natural load on your feet can really pay off.

Read more: ever considered barefoot running? Find out why your feet are the best footwear of all.

Improve your balance with barefoot workouts

Well-fitting shoes with a firm sole give you stability and support. If you start training barefoot, however, your body – or your muscles, to be precise – have to take on this job for themselves. In particular your core, the group of muscles in your torso, needs to be constantly stable for you to keep your balance. Try standing on one leg, first in shoes and then barefoot. You’ll find that you wobble a lot more without your shoes. Regular barefoot training helps your improve your balance, while also enhancing your awareness of your own body. Read this article to find out why a good sense of balance is so important.

Use your muscles more

Did you know that your feet have 20 different muscles, all working together? They also have over 100 tendons and ligaments, 28 bones, and more than 30 joints. If you only ever work out in shoes, you’ll use only a fraction of them. Barefoot training activates more of your body’s muscles than when you exercise in shoes. Doing this targets not just the muscles in your feet, but also your often-neglected calf muscles and your core. So the moral of the story is: if you want to get even more out of your workout, just take off your shoes!

Of course, in some sports, wearing sturdy footwear is an absolute must. These include lifting weights, boxing, and ball sports.

Your body deserves a reward for all that work your muscles are doing. For your muscles to regenerate and grow, they need a lot of nutrients, like the ones in our Recovery Aminos.

Working out barefoot helps develop a natural awareness of your body

From an evolutionary point of view, going barefoot is the most natural thing in the world. Over time, however, our feet and entire musculoskeletal system have adapted to wearing shoes. Scientists believe that our altered walking technique and lack of depth perception make our feet inflexible over time. This can lead to physical problems in the long run. Getting your feet mobile, from your toes to your heels, and cultivating a natural awareness of your own body through barefoot training makes complete sense.

Just make sure that the flooring is suitable for working out on, with sufficient cushioning. Exercising on excessively hard or uneven ground can increase the risk of injury during barefoot training.

Tip: if you find working out barefoot uncomfortable, you could start off with non-slip socks or toe shoes.

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