The Forefoot/Barefoot Movement: Fact or Fad?


The barefoot movement has received a lot of praise, reciprocal ridicule, and most importantly, press. However, with a little common sense, and a touch of biomechanical application, we believe even those who oppose barefoot running the most will agree that forefoot running has revolutionized running as we know it.

For instance, try this simple exercise: jump up and down, absorbing the shock with your knees and hips. By using the flexibility of our own bodies, we can dissipate a lot of force generated by the height of our vertical jump thus reducing the load and stress on our joints. Now jump up and down landing straight legged every repetition (DON’T REALLY PERFORM THIS, JUST VISUALIZE THE RESULTS!). Which exercise seems easier?

Forefoot running allows your body to absorb the shock of your weight, multiplied by gravity and your forward movement. If you are a heel-strike runner, consider attempting a forefoot gait. It will allow you to run longer, more efficiently, and most importantly, it will increase your running vitality (i.e., you will be running longer throughout your life). Changing your running gait is no easy task. Try it on a treadmill or on a long gradual hill. The incline will force you to run on your forefoot, and decrease your impact on the running surface.

Click here for a greater understanding of barefoot running. If you would like your gait analyzed, or have more questions regarding forefoot and or barefoot running, call 777-5900 for a complimentary gait analysis and functional evaluation. Your body will thank you for it!

– Focus On Health

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