Balance Circuit for Barefoot Running Prep

One of the main challenges faced by runners I train (of ALL ages & abilities) is developing proper BALANCE. Even though it seems like this should be simple, it takes an open mind, focus & repetition to get it right. In al of my clinics & personal training sessions, we incorporate specific balance drills (always done barefoot) to lock in the process. The goal is to get runners intuitively centered & balanced whilst running, thus significantly reducing the risk of ‘avoidable’ injuries.  Please note an example of one of my balance circuits below:
* on Bosu ball (flat side down) – 1-legged balancing for 30 secs/leg x 2 reps/leg

* on Bosu ball – as above but with eyes closed for 10 secs. or more x 2 reps/leg

* on Bosu ball – as 1st exercise above but squat to 60 degrees rapidly up & down. Repeat for 60 secs/leg

* on Bosu ball (flat side up) – 1-legged balance with 1/2 squat & forward lean. Hold for 30 secs/leg x 2 reps/leg

* on flat surface – 1-legged balancing on mid-foot with other leg extended back & parallel to floor. Hold for 60 secs./leg x 1 rep. MUST tighten gluts of extended leg and contract core to keep hips square

Do these 5 to 6 times/week. The minimal time spent will pay off grandly in your transition to barefoot running.
coach Jeff

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4 thoughts on “Balance Circuit for Barefoot Running Prep

  1. Hey Jeff,

    I wonder if there is a way to drill or demystify( for them) why everyone in most cases doubles their balance and stability when they are barefoot or wear barefoot science? Can we send out a challenge and ask for their reply? First of all you need to understand what this big word ”Proprioception” means to the body. To understand how why the body has proprioceptors and what their job is read the attachment.It may be too much but slides two and 22-25 also do a quick and simple job of explaining why the body simply cannot function properly without proprioceptive feedback. There may be four balance/gait related proprioceptive groups but the number one area comes from the feet. The more proprioceptive feedback that the brain receives the more signals it can send to the gait related muscles to deal with everything that it going on.

    OK, now that you have an understanding of what this big word means let’s do a couple of tests. First I want you to take a pencil and run it along your hand or foot and then repeat the process after you put a piece of paper over the hand or foot. You will probably notice a drop in sensation or proprioceptive feedback of about 70%. If that pencil was a hot stick then your brain would have automatically fired all of the shoulder and arm muscles that would pull that hand or foot out of harms way before you could even think about it. If you magnify your drop in sensation or proprioception by the number of times that even your minimalistic shoe is thicker than the piece of paper you will quickly see just how effective shoes are at cutting off this natural gift. Hmmm.

    Second test. Stand on one foot with your shoes on and then close your eyes and see how long you can stay upright. Now repeat the test with a set of Barefoot Science in your shoes or while standing in the sand.

    Now you understand not only why the body has proprioceptors but also why you are more stable and have an improved gait when you run barefoot or wear the Barefoot Science proprioceptive insoles in your shoes.

    Not only are proprioceptors the body’s natural balance/gait workhorses but they are also the body’s built in injury prevention system.(see attached)

    Insulating them will lead to atrophy and injury!

    Lance

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