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Barefoot vs. Orthodics

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  • Barefoot vs. Orthodics

    I like what there is about the barefoot shoes. I have been rocking skeletoes for the past couple of months.

    I have a friend that specializes in video analysis of sports and athletes and when we worked out last week he noticed my squat form at the knees when I squat down. The knock in....I gabbed my orthodics and all of a sudden the form on my knees went from what looks not too healthy to perfect.

    So if the barefoot style is messing with my performance and at a bad angle.....is it considered good for me?

    If wearing orthodics gives me perfect form...how is that bad?

  • #2
    Sounds like a muscle imbalance is going on... is it just a question of form or can you also squat more weight with the orthotics? Ideally you should be able to have solid form even when barefoot so I would work towards fixing that, personally - yoga is great for learning and developing proper knee alignment as well as for improving foot strength.
    Last edited by unchatenfrance; 08-17-2011, 11:07 AM.

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    • #3
      Muscle imbalance? No...muscle imbalance really...considering how I work out there is no muscle imbalance really.

      I am not stronger either way as I have never used the orthodics until last week when the knees dropping in was noticed. Several years ago I had some severe foot pain and I got custom orthodics that worked magic for me, I never used them as I have been a minimalist shoe guy for years...chuck taylors, wrestling shoes, ect.

      It comes down to a pysiological difference as I have the before and after video of the squats as in barefoot vs. orthodics. Now if I was making a large heavy building and the base is off then the whole thing goes wrong...I think it is the same way with the feet and the rest of the body.

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      • #4
        How's your balance? That could potentially be a culprit as well.

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        • #5
          On the wii I have a great tree pose.....was in gymnastics for a couple of years....balance is ok with me!

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          • #6
            do the orthodics have any heel/toe drop? if they do try standing in your skeletoes/barefoot with your heels on something like a book or board to elevate them about a half inch or so and do the squat. im wondering if the angle likely created by your shoes is what makes the actual difference. could simply be a flexibilty issue
            Primal Chaos
            37yo 6'5"
            6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
            current 338lbs 49" waist
            goal 240lbs 35" waist

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            • #7
              Flexibility? what would be tight in order for this to happen?

              5 days/wk I do a 20 min. stretch session in a pool and am closer to doing the spits now than I have been in 10 years. I also get a 1 & 1/2 hr. massage twice per month.

              I can wrap my hands around my feet without much of a problem as well.

              So if I can balance well and am flexible as well.....then what could be the problem?

              If I have to stick plates under my feet to have good squat form? I think I would rather use an orthodic.

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              • #8
                Orthotics giving you perfect form isn't bad. It just means that there is something wrong with your body that you can't do it correctly on your own. The obvious recommendation on this board is to find that problem (I have no ideas, actually) and fix it.

                However, if you are happy using the orthotics, go for it. If you want to use the orthotics to train while you practice the barefoot motion, that's probably not a bad idea either. Perhaps your feet (or something else) are too messed up to be fixed, in which case you'll be stuck with the orthotics forever. Do what works for you.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Darwin17 View Post
                  Flexibility? what would be tight in order for this to happen?

                  5 days/wk I do a 20 min. stretch session in a pool and am closer to doing the spits now than I have been in 10 years. I also get a 1 & 1/2 hr. massage twice per month.

                  I can wrap my hands around my feet without much of a problem as well.

                  So if I can balance well and am flexible as well.....then what could be the problem?

                  If I have to stick plates under my feet to have good squat form? I think I would rather use an orthodic.
                  OP, are your shins flexible? Can you squat all the way down (your butt to the floor) with your feet very close together and flat on the floor? It may not be a hamstring flexibility or hip mobility issue, but if your muscles are inflexible from the knee down that could interfere with many things. If not, then I am officially out of ideas :-)

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                  • #10
                    flexibility in your ankles is what i was refering too. if you dont have full flexibility in your ankles when you are in squat position youll either want to raise your heels off the ground or turn your knees in, which i believe is what you mentioned is happening.

                    if the orthodics have a raised heel the required amount of flexibility at the ankle would be less and so the knees wouldnt turn

                    like i said its just a theory based on whether the shoes have a raised heel or not. just something to try
                    Primal Chaos
                    37yo 6'5"
                    6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
                    current 338lbs 49" waist
                    goal 240lbs 35" waist

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                    • #11
                      I opened this thread expecting it to be about running/walking, instead it's about lifting weights, but actually the answer is going to be the same. Anything that corrects form can't be all that bad a thing. The question is if you want to have to depend on something external to the body if you can make the correction yourself in your movement pattern. I personally just push my knees out when I squat, that does the trick very well for me. I'm also a stubborn, elitist SOB who insists on being able to do as much as he can without having to depend on tools :wink:.

                      If you prefer to use orthodics that's fine, just remember that you are training your body to need that support, which means that you need to be aware of when you won't have it. Some people only lift heavy objects in the gym, others do it all the time in their daily life; some people always walk around in their shoes, others like to have them off as much as possible.

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                      • #12
                        I can do a full ATG squat.....love the goblet squat and double KB front squat.

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