Balance – One key to Better Barefoot Running

When training my runners in the Squat/Scoot method of mid-foot running, I focus on BALANCING BAREFOOT more so than any other component. My reasoning is as follows:

* the feet contain muscles, nerves, tendons & ligaments that interact with Mother Earth to provide instant feedback re: body position when running

* the big toe works as the main stabilizer for the foot – without it gripping the surface, it is almost impossible to push powerfully forward in the drive phase of running

* the proprioceptive firing & synergistic recruitment throughout the foot lead to lighter, more efficient foot striking & support vs. the downward pull of gravity

Here are a few staple drills my people do to improve balance for running:

* 1-legged bracing squat – 60 secs/leg

* 1-legged bracing squat with eyes closed – 30 secs/leg

* 1-legged hopping on spot – 60 secs/leg but must land on same spot with each hop or start again

* 1-legged forward & backward hop – 30 secs/leg as above

* 1-legged forward lean whilst bracing core & return to upright – 4 per leg. Must keep knee lined up over foot

Do these 3 to 4 times per week. You will notice a dramatic improvement in your ability to run tight, light, compact & forward in perfect balance!

 

coach Jeff

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