Barefoot training has seen a resurgence in recent years, and the benefits seem numerous. It is frequently used by coaches and athletes for both injury prevention and performance enhancement.
Running barefoot makes it more likely that you will strike with your forefoot, or midfoot, as your foot and ankle uses its own mobility as a shock absorber to prevent heavy impacts up the leg into the knee, hip, spine and neck.
Not only does this prevent chronic knee and hip injuries, but it also develops the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle. This will fix and help realign the body, and will also provide performance-based improvements to athletes who train barefoot or with minimalist footwear.
There are ongoing studies into tribes in both the Amazon and South America, as well as Maasai in Africa, that supports the theory that barefoot running has performance-based benefits particularly for runners.
Almost 30% of the joints in our body are in our feet, and are the base support for the entire body. By covering them up it can alter foot mechanics and our whole posture, and can make the foot and ankle joints weak and lazy.
The aquabase and floatfit class format provide a barefoot training environment that will work the ankle and foot at all angles and directions, but in a low impact scenario which is hard to replicate elsewhere. The solid platform of the aquabase replicates real world scenarios, while the instability of the water (and the exercises you need to perform!) offers a softer alternative than running on tarmac.
Further, your feet are a highly receptive part of your body and are used to connect to your surroundings in the same way that your hands are (you don’t workout or live with your hand covered up!). By training barefoot it will improve and develop your proprioception. Proprioception is our unconscious perception of space and our orientation and movement within the space around us, which provides feedback about your body position and alignment. By freeing your feet while exercising and developing your proprioception you will develop your balance, perception of what is around you and achieve greater muscle activation.
By combining barefoot training with the natural insatiability of balancing on water, the aquabase provides a perfect platform for a holistic workout. The aquabase can be effectively used for injury prevention and rehabilitation as well as an intense HIIT workout like floatfit HIIT. The floatfit class will not only provide a full body workout and engage and challenge your core, it will work on your ankle stability and support, as well as your proprioception.
All-in-all, a workout like no other!