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Minimalist Shoes

By April 17, 2012No Comments

In CrossFit there are certain shoes that we wear to help you perform at your best. I’m not talking about your Air Jordans with the huge heel and cushion.

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Jordan-Hallowed-Ground-Low-varsity-red

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If you notice when you?re in the gym, you tend to see what’s called a minimalist shoe on most of our athlete’s feet. ?The two most popular brands at CFB are Inov-8’s and New Balance Minimus.

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The reason we wear minimalist shoes is because there is very little drop from the heel to the toe and little to no cushion in the shoe?s sole. ?The less drop there is in a shoe, the closer that shoe is to mimicking the bare foot. ?The more cushion their is in a shoe, like your air Jordan?s, the more likely you are to lean forward during lifting. ?These shoes also cause a loss of drive off of the ground and will decrease the application of force between the athlete, the ground, and the barbell. ?This is why most CFB athletes and CrossFitters in general, find a low drop, minimalist shoe to wear. ?If you?re still wearing the old Jordan?s grab you a pair of low drop shoes and see the results you will gain.

There are many runners and CrossFitters that run in minimalist shoes as well. ?When you begin to run with less, it is imperative to understand that the technique (stride) is vastly different and you have to relearn the patterns by starting with the fundamentals. Running with supported shoes promotes a heel strike (not always, but usually) and minimalist and without shoes promotes a mid- or forefoot landing pattern. Therefore, it’s not as simple as taking off your shoes and going out for a run. Making this transition is a lot more taxing on the muscles in your foot, ankle, calf, hamstrings. It isn’t bad, but it is different. ?It takes time to adapt to moving with less under our feet because we have become dependent on the support and cushioning in our shoes. ?We will have to spend some time breaking 10+ years of running habits to learn how to POSE run, but once you do learn it’ll be worth the effort.

Now lets talk about how to pose run.

1) Raise ankles straight up using the hamstrings.

2) Keep your support time as short as possible.

3) That support should always be on the balls of your feet.

4) Let the heel kiss the ground but do not have a large impact on the heel.

5) DO NOT shift your weight over your toes. As soon as the weight is on the ball of your foot, raise your ankle.(Wow! This is a challenging technique but already I can see the amazing benefits from pose running).

6) Always keep your ankle relaxed and at the same angle.

7) Always keep your knees bent. (So imagine if you were over-striding and stretching your leg way out. Your knees would be forced to straighten and would absorb a lot of pounding and stress).

8) Your feet will always remain behind the vertical plum line that runs from your head, through your body, through your knees, and into the ground.

9) Keep your stride length short.

10) Knees and thighs should be down, relaxed, and kept close together.

11) Keep your focus on using the hamstring to pull the foot from the ground and not on the landing. The landing will take care of itself.

12) REMEMBER Try not to land on your toes and do not point your toes. Always land mid-foot.

13) It is the force of Gravity, and not any muscle action on your part that controls the landing of your foot.

14) Keep the vertical alignment (in other words?hold the pose) in your shoulders, hips, and ankles.

15) Your arms are strictly for balance and not for producing any type of force.

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It is important to note that without proper technique injuries can occur when attempting to learn POSE running. ?It may benefit you to seek out a coach who is familiar with this running style rather than go it alone.

On the other hand, people who spend the required time to learn proper POSE running technique seldom ever get injured.

There are those who can perfect this technique within a month, but keep in mind that it is not in ones best interest to go back and forth between running styles.

I know I?m going to give it a try because I like to run long distances and pose running really seems to be perfect for it.

-Trai

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