The Benefits of Barefoot Training

In Cupcakes and Minimus, I promised that I would write an article on why wearing Minimus Sneakers was good for you.

Being of man of my word, here is that article.

The Benefits of Barefoot Training

At Advanced Training, we start every session by performing a few rounds of jump rope, followed immediately by our world famous "Four Minute Warm-Up".

Both the jump rope sessions and the warm-up are performed without any shoes on - aka ... with bare feet.

Most people who watch us feel compelled to ask the following question:

"What is the purpose of you taking off your shoes?"

I know they are asking in more of a derogatory way than in an inquisitive way, so I try to keep it as short as possible by saying...

"Because it makes your feet stronger."

While this is true, there are a few more reasons why we train with bare feet.


When you train without sneakers, it allows you to sink deeper into your squats, lunges, deadlifts, etc.

The deeper you can sink, the better able you are to improve ankle mobility.

How deep do you really think you can sink wearing Nike Shox?

You Might as Well Wear High Heels


This one really goes back to my man, Sir Isaac Newton.
(Don't judge me, I have a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University.)

Sir Isaac Newton

In Newton's third law of motion, it states "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

For the intellectually challenged in our group, this means you can push yourself up by simply driving your feet into the floor.

This is exactly what I stress to our athletes as they are coming out of the hole on their squats and deadlifts.

While most people simply try to raise their hips or pull the weight, they should really be trying to push their feet into the ground.

If you are wearing shoes with high heels, how can you effectively do this?

If you still don't believe me, just look at the pictures below.

Are you really going to argue with The Terminator?

The Real Guns are under the Jacket

Barefoot Squat

Barefoot Deadlift


I already know what you are thinking.... "What is proprioception?"

To keep it simple, it is the ability to sense where you are.

How can training barefoot help you sense where you are?

When you run or jump, your feet are the only thing that touch the ground.

As they hit the ground, your nervous system sends signals back to your brain.

With too much cushion under your feet, most of these signals get lost.

If these signals get lost, how can you expect to stop on a dime or cut back to elude a defender?

Think I am crazy, try standing on one foot with your sneakers on.

Now try it with your sneakers off.

If you feel like you just took a blind side hit from a member of the New Orleans Saints, you need to improve your proprioception.


Nice Flat Heel

As you can see from the picture above, the MINIMUS has a nice small sole.

As a result, it closely simulates what it is like to train barefoot.

In my next article, I will give a brief review of how the MINIMUS stacks up against the two other training shoes I have worn - The Vibram Five Fingers and Nike Free.

See The Next Article - Here

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