Foot strength

I think foot strength is a bit overlooked in strength training for sprints but haven’t seen much about how to improve it.

I know there are proponents of barefoot running, and you probably get some of this effect when sprinting with a flexible spike shoe, but what are the best exercises you can do to strengthen feet and ankles?

I have been doing my tempo work and drills barefoot for the last few years and this has helped a lot. (Although my MA work is always barefoot, so foot strength isn’t a problem for me).

very good topic for discussion, thanks for brining it up. one thing you can do to help with general foot health is to stop wearing shoes with arch support, why you ask, well your foots arch is a precission peace of work supported by the muscles in your foot wearing arch supports only acts like a crutch for the problem ie your attacking the symptoms not the cause. the cause being poor foot strength. i think what happens a lot of the times is people develop overuse injuries resulting in planter pain then they believe they need arch supports in their shoes and never take them out. i personally train bare foot or in a completly flate soled shoe . a good one is the puma H street. its cheap and does what a show should do cover your foot, thats all.

Barefoot tempo work is good. Find a nice soft grass field and check to make sure there is no glass or other sharp objects. If you can’t find such a field, Nike Free shoes are a good option.

Also try some EMS on the soles of your feet.

I thought Nike Free’s were performance shoes. I have the Nike Free Trainer w/ strap, and they are real light. But then Ive heard you are only supposed to wear Nike Free’s only 3-4 days per week because of all of the stress of your feet.

Wearing Nike Free shoes is no more stressful on your feet than going barefoot…probably less. So, if you are not used to training barefoot, perhaps you should be careful but I have never seen a problem. I also own the Free trainers and like them quite a bit.

I see the “no more than 3 days a week” recommendation as rather self serving for Nike.

How so?

If anything in a grand macro economics scale it hurts them because peoples free’s last longer.

idk. back to the topic… frees seem like a waste if you can concivibly do tempo and the like barefoot. however if you can’t then they are you best alternative.

Some football players use the Free Trainer on grass in their speed and agility drills.

Because then you hve to buy another pair of Nikes for the rest of your training :slight_smile:

The barefoot or minimalist shoes seem to be the consensus. Just to keep this going a bit, anyone using these exercises or similar?

I’d buy 2 pairs of asics or mizunos or addidas. so nike really lost out on me… except for a pair of mayflys that i own and some old basketball shoes.

i understand your point now. nike is very far from what it set out to be. i even think for distance runners nike has come out with a recovery day shoe or something. I was under the impression that those were called trainers. silly nike

How about using EMS on the foot?

Yes, I have used most or all of those exercises as one time or another. Good stuff.

Good idea! (Check post #4) :slight_smile:

Oh oops :smiley:

How intense would you go though?

As much as you can stand (no pun intended!)

Put the pads on the ground, one under the front of your foot, the other under the heel. Then crank it up! By standing on the pads, you help keep your foot from cramping up too much.

Sounds good !

Would you do it one foot at a time then?

Depends on how many channels your system has. I put the pads on both feet and do them at the same time. (It only takes 4 pads to do both feet.)

Sweet, thanks a lot man :smiley:

Just curious about using EMS on shins though. Is it alright if I put the pads on both the calf and the shin muscle at the same time, or is it best to work them separately? (I think they work against each other??)

I would alternate contractions (shin, then calf) But I have to admit that I don’t use it much on my calves and have never used it on my shins.