Usually when you exercise at home, you will be exercising with shoes instead of exercising barefoot. So why do you exercise with shoes at home? Is it necessary to wear shoes while exercising at home?
Exercising barefoot can actually improve your balance, strengthen your foot intrinsic muscles, allows your foot to jump and land properly along with reducing pain and risk of injuries.
It is thought that shoes with thicker cushion is meant to protect your foot and joints, but in reality, your foot itself is a very good “natural cushion” for your joints.
When you wear shoes with ankle support or thicker soles, you are actually telling your foot to be lazy and ruined its “natural cushion” and biomechanics.
Our foot is meant to absorb the shock from our daily activities; standing, walking, running, jumping and so on.
For example, try doing a jump squat without shoes and you will know what I mean.
Your foot will jump and land with proper placement of your foot and you will land “softly” without even being told. After landing, your foot and joints will be fine.
As a beginner, you surely wanna know whether is it necessary to exercise barefoot or with shoes at home.
Exercising barefoot isn’t bad for you, in fact it has many benefits! Personally, I prefer to exercise barefoot at home and here is why:
It improves your proprioception and balance
Shoes with ankle support is to stabilise your ankle and improve your ankle’s proprioception. Just like those basketball players with high ankle support shoes, they use it to support their ankles.
However, by becoming too dependent on shoes with ankle support, your foot and ankle become “very lazy” and your foot and ankle needs to work extra hard to overcome this instability caused by the shoes.
To make you understand what I mean, try to stand on one leg and observe your foot and ankle. You will notice that your foot and ankle is constantly making “small movements”.
If you are lazy to do that — you can do lunges as shown in the video below and observe your foot while you are doing it. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt your foot or ankle.
These “small movements” are your ankle proprioception working properly to stabilise and balance your whole body without losing balance.
Therefore, if you exercise barefoot, you will eventually improve your ankle and knee proprioception along with your balance in the long term.
It strengthens your foot intrinsic muscles to prevent pain and injuries
By exercising barefoot, you force your foot to use its intrinsic muscles and thus it will be strong. Otherwise, your foot will be too dependent on the support of the shoes.
Keeping these foot intrinsic muscles is crucial to a overall strong foot and this may lead to a reduction in pain and injuries associated to foot problems.
It allows you to jump and land properly
When you jump, you won’t land on your heels or in a way that hurt yourself. Your foot and body will land in a way to absorb the excessive shock and pressure.
Here is an example of a jump squat barefoot at home:
You don’t need to know any jumping technique, but you can jump and land properly. Because our foot are built to withstand all these forces and it won’t hurt you when you land.
However, you may not feel comfortable after jumping and landing because your foot is accustomed to wearing shoes. Be careful not to hurt yourself!
You can exercise at home without buying another pair of shoes to use while you are exercising at home nor use your existing dirty – smelly – shoes. And it is not necessary to wear shoes while exercising at home.
Besides, it is up to you to exercise at home with or without shoes. I personally prefer exercising without shoes (barefoot) at home.
If you have been exercising with shoes, don’t make an abrupt change to exercising barefoot at home. Gradually change your routine to exercise barefoot at home. This is to prevent any pain or injuries that you may face.
Try it and you will feel the difference, comment below and tell me your experience of exercising barefoot at home.