I have been incorporating backwards barefoot running into my clinic and personal drills to enhance forward bare-foot running for years.
Why, you ask?
Running bare-foot backwards:
* takes the onus off the quad muscles & onto the calves, hamstrings & gluteals – usually under-utilized in the forward running motion
* forces you more onto the mid-foot re: foot strike
* forces you to drive backward with power by shortening the stride length
* forces you to balance & centre better over the body’s mid-line by taking away your forward field of vision
* forces you to fire the running muscles in the proper sequence consistently
* makes running forward in the squat/scoot almost automatic with less stress on the body, faster forward push & virtually NO running-related injuries
* alternate backward & forward running, varying the distance but changing direction quickly & frequently for 3 to 4 mins. x 3 reps
* backward uphill & downhill x 4 reps each way – push both ways with power, staying low & tight thru the core
* backward angled running on a flat area, changing angles quickly & powerfully x 6o sec. reps x 5. This helps strengthen your hip adductor & abductor muscles, critical to keeping your hips square & feet landing in a forward direction whilst bare-foot
Do these 1 to 2 times per week & your bare-foot running efficiency will improve dramatically. As my friends, The Eagles, would sing “take it to the limit…one more time”!!