Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy Feet - Happy Body

It's catch up time due to a snowboarding trip to Colorado and otherwise being very busy in the gym.

First order of business is that this Saturday, March 14th I will be leading a kettlebell (aka dangerballs) and sandbag training workshop from 1-2pm at Equinox Santa Monica. Show up and we'll have some fun. And by fun I mean hard work.

Next up it's time to discuss footwear and health. Anyone that trains with me knows I'm big on training in flat shoes. There are a few reasons for this.

1. Flat shoes allow you to sit back more on your heels when doing any squat of deadlift pattern which will make your posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings) do more work, and it takes some stress off of the knees. You will also be able to lift more weight, thus get results faster.

2. Flat shoes with less support such as Nike Frees will also force your ankle and foot muscles to work harder, thus make them stronger and less susceptible to injury.

If that doesn't convince you then check out this article on T-Nation. ( I disagree with the author that Sanuk sandles are good for training though).

Personally, I train barefoot at home. Many other top trainers such as Eric Cressey and Bill Hartman, who train alot of pro athletes, have their clients train mostly barefoot in their facilities. Of course most commercial gyms don't allow this so the next best thing are Nike Frees (the Nike Free Dynamic Trainer available on are my favorite) or Vibram Five Fingers.

I just picked up a pair of the Five Fingers and so far love them.

Both Frees and Five Fingers go for around $70-$80, and last along time. Your feet will thank you.


Roland said...

Enjoy the kbs and sandbags! I've never heard of a commercial gym with sandbags. Good stuff!

Maybe someday my plantar fasciitis will be cured enough to go for Vibrams. :)

Roland said...

I forgot... Why frees over Chucks? I have Frees (5.0) and low top chucks. I think the Chucks are quite a bit flatter heeled.

We really shouldn't forget the Onitsuka Tigers... flat and awesomer, especially in red.

Chris B said...

Damn, I'm slow to read comments again. Sorry!

Hey Roland,

yeah the sandbags are a blast. Clients are loving them.

Yes the Chucks are flatter but don't feel as good to me when doing more athletic movements - sled pulling, lateral moves etc... The Free Dynamics in particular have more lateral support.
The Chucks are great for plain 'ol DLing and squatting of course.

Onitsuka's are great if you are fighting the Crazy 88 Yakuzas.

As for your feet you might want to google plantar and Vibrams. I've read a couple of things by guys claiming training in those have really helped out their issues. Probably wear them in small doses at first.