Following up from a recent post on the benefits of barefoot training, these are 3 classic exercises that will target different components of barefoot strengthening.
1) Bear crawls - a really simple exercise to train the muscles of the foot in a lengthened position (toes extended). Training in this end range position is often neglected with conventional exercises and is specific to pushing off when sprinting
2) Single leg deadlifts - we really like this exercise in bare feet as it significantly challenges your medial and lateral stabilisers of your foot and ankle. It is harder than it looks. Give it a go and you will feel your weaker muscles working and straining almost immediately. For advanced training, try with an added load on the contralateral side
3) Hurdle hops - finishing with a dynamic plyometric exercise trains your feet to rapidly absorb load and spring off from the ground which translates to improved running speed, jump heights and agility (sport specific)
Remember, these are just some of the exercises that we like and there are many different ways to train barefoot. Secondly, take care to ease into it especially with plyometric style exercises. Finally, we are not advocating for barefoot training all the time, rather that there are numerous benefits so you should incorporate them into your training regime.
Our caring and friendly Chatswood or North Sydney Physio team would love to help you out, so reach out to us if you have any questions.