12:07 PM

Experts Explain Whether You Should Be Working Out Barefoot

Bicycling Magazine reports on the benefits and risks of barefoot training according to experts including Mathew Welch, MS, CSCS, ATC, USAW-1, exercise physiologist at HSS.

According to Welch, removing shoes helps to restore the natural range of motion for the foot and ankle, which has a ripple effect along the kinetic chain. “I tend to use barefoot exercises when my goal is to improve the alignment of the knee and hip during the double-leg squat and single-leg squat,” he explained.

However, if you’re dealing with an injury or active foot pain, it’s a good idea to hold off on working out barefoot until you’re feeling better and have been cleared by a doctor. Because traditional Olympic lifts (specifically, the barbell snatch and clean and jerk) are both heavy and explosive, most experts recommend wearing shoes that offer support and shock absorption. “These lifts are typically performed in more rigid shoes, with a heel elevation, to allow the lifter the correct posture to stay balanced over the bar and receive the bar in the proper catch position,” noted Welch.

Read the full article at Bicycling.com.