Two of the major areas of breakdown for my barefoot running clients in Team Over The Top are in
1. muscle fatigue
2. loss of balance.
Failure in one or both of these leads to avoidable injury over time.
To combat these, I developed the following circuit (it’s one of many that I use in my clinics and 1-0n-1 training):
- 1-legged 1/2 clean and jerk
- Forward lunge & torso rotation (keep arms at chest level against the chest)
- 1-legged forward lean with rowing arm action
- 1-legged 1/2 squat
- Side-to-side lunge with arms touching floor beyond foot
- 1-legged alternate forward arm raise – straight ahead followed by 45 degree angle lift
These are done in sequence with no rest holding 5 to 15 lb. dumbbells in each hand (depending on your level of muscular fitness) for 60 seconds each. You may not be able to do a full 60 seconds of each exercise. Thus, work within your range and add time until you can do a full 60 seconds of each exercise consecutively. Gradually work up to 2 to 3 sets of the circuit. It may take you 4 to 8 weeks to achieve this – be patient!! Do the routine post-run or on off-days 2 to 3 times per week. Of course, make sure you do these BAREFOOT! Increase the pace of your repetitions as you get stronger.
The 1-legged work improves your balance and synergistic muscle support for running barefoot. The weights and repetitions combined with no rest between exercises build your muscle fatigue tolerance.
This results in less risk of:
1. technical breakdowns whilst barefoot running (enabling you to resist the downward pull of gravity better)
2. avoidable injury.
Build this into your off-road training routine and get closer to realizing the beauty of injury-free barefoot running!!