Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Choosing the right footwear

Mark, Arnold - can't really tell who's who, they both deadlift barefoot.
Generally we recommend weightlifting shoes for most of the lifts we do because the hard sole gives you a stable platform to push against and the wedge on the heel allows the knee to come forward to help you balance. But there are some times you want to be more connected to the ground. Yesterday, Mark did his deadlifts barefoot. While I don't officially recommend working out without any shoes, there are times where being flatter and more connected to the ground helps. The hardstyle kettlebell folks are also big fans of the barefoot lifting/kettlebelling.

I've been working with barefoot kettlebells myself and it's been really good at strengthening my feet.  If this is something that you want to try, start playing around with it in warm-ups (if it's not crowded and you don't have to worry about others stepping on your feet).  You don't want to go immediately from supportive footwear to barefoot, but some gradual shifts to help awaken the muscles in your feet may be a good thing for you. Feel free to experiment and see what works for you.
tall box jump
KB snatch left arm
KB snatch right arm