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The Truth Of Barefoot Training & Ankle Mobility

functional training

As we launched physical therapist, Jessica Bento’s new DVRT Rx Gait Course yesterday, there are so many concepts we can discuss. I think it is impossible to discuss not only gait, but good functional training without addressing two key ideas. Those are barefoot training and ankle mobility.

When it comes to barefoot training people often misunderstand the true intent. Yes, being barefoot is good and you can do similar things in specific training socks or minimus shoes, but the benefit of being barefoot is we can do some initial cuing that helps people understand the major point which is HOW we use our feet is the most important point!

Cuing the feet means learning how to create an “active foot”. Meaning the “core” of the foot becomes active and we can do so by simply giving feedback to the toes. We want the client to feel themselves grabbing for the ground as the more “awake” one’s foot is the better they will not only walk, but squat, lunge, hip hinge, but also push and pull.

pressing bent rows

In DVRT we use a variety of simple but highly effective strategies to cue people how to use their feet properly.

Cuing isn’t the only we can get people to use their feet more, using a variety of stances and different movements (as you will see below) also forces people to learn to create the active feet that we are looking to develop. This helps with healthier knees, stronger glutes, and an overall better lower AND upper body.

Having said that, ankle mobility goes right along with what we do with our feet. While people share TONS of ankle mobility drills on social media, they must not be all that effective because people often end up just wedging people for their squats and more. Eliminating and important joint like the ankle from our movement can significantly alter how our body performs in life.

core exercise

When we create better foot stability, this can help our ankle mobility quite a bit. However, we can get faster and better results in our ankle mobility efforts if we do things such as…

-Work in different positions and angles.

-Give some additional feedback that will help the foot but also give some valuable pressure to the ankle.

-Add core stability that will enhance the mobility of distal joints and give us better ankle mobility.

In my discussion with Jessica we break down a lot of these ideas and you can see them in practice below!

Don’t miss saving 30% on Jessica’s new DVRT Rx Gait course HERE with code “gait” and you can learn from Jessica directly at our upcoming Northern California Restoration Certification in February HERE.

Listen to the audio HERE