The importance of training the foot and why we will be paying more attention to this at NWFP
If you've been working out at NWFP lately, you might have seen many of our trainers warming up or working out in their socks. This isn't just a trend to sell stylish socks, but an approach to training smarter from the ground up. Co-owner Matt recently went to a seminar in DC and in 2 of the 3 workshops, the presenters started their workshops with 30 minutes discussing the importance of feet. While Matt and Kyle go to seminars annually and are familiar with the material, now the industry is all-in on barefoot warmups.
Starting off workouts by creating more responsive tension in your feet, will result in greater firing of targeted motor patterns all the way up the chain through the entire body. This technique also improves the mechanics of our movements and helps to prevent injuries. As we have been learning the best techniques for this , we will be carrying this over into both group and personal training (so make sure you wear matching socks without holes).
From a personal perspective, at the end of last summer Matt broke his big toe and flared his plantar fasciitis by slamming into a rock on his mountain bike. Being a lover of extreme sports, Matt started researching what was needed to regain mobility and strength of the foot and toe after immobilizing both for about 8 weeks in a boot so he could get back on his bike ASAP. After a month of strengthening injured side, he noticed his uninjured left foot was now having a hard time keeping up which prompted him to start bilateral training. Both sides are now the best they’ve ever been.
His deadlift weight went up and his single leg stability work is at a completely different level, doing yoga poses are rock solid, and the plantar fasciitis he’s been battling over the last 6 months was gone.
Not just for injury recovery, Kyle also jumped in on this since you can still do barefoot training with a broken hand (different injury) and is noticing less fatigue in his running as a result. It's a lasting trend for a reason. Check out this interview with Martin Rooney on the subject from 2015 in Men's Health. And try this warm up series from our very own Dylan Brown.
So what does this means for you? Expect simple movement patterns in warm-ups, like lunges, squats and planks to be done shoes off. And if it's time to upgrade your socks, check out Bombas who have some awesome pairs.