One of the things that worked for me while I was growing up was training on grass areas in nothing but my bare feet. As I got older, I became accustomed to synthetic tracks and forgot about the benefits of training in bare feet. When I resumed some basic bare feet training, I found that I became faster, stronger and more powerful. This is because I found that I increased the muscle range and control that I was losing through using shoes and synthetic surfaces. So in this post, I want to explain some of the benefits of bare feet training and some ways you can incorporate it into your speed training.
Increase your muscles range of motion
You should feel an immediate difference when you start running on grass with your bare feet. You will find that on grass surfaces, there is a bit more “give”, so the muscles will have to execute more power into the ground in order to propel you forward. You will find that due to the surface, your muscles will experience a greater “range of motion” in order to execute more power.
You train more stabilising muscles
This is one of the best things about training on grass with your bare feet. It forces you to use all of your muscles (especially in your ankles and toes) for more flexion, muscle activation, and power. When you train with shoes, you lose some of this as the force is absorbed by the shoe.
Your muscles and joints won’t experience as much shock.
If you have experienced extreme muscle soreness, then it is advised that you train on grass. The softer surface will allow you to train with more intensity, without your muscles experiencing as much shock compared to training on hard surfaces.
Are there alternative surfaces that you should consider training on?
Soft sand at the beach
This is handy because the force that is executed in the sand will be absorbed, making it more difficult for you to propel yourself forward. It will help you train your body mechanics in a way that will force your body to run forward. When you transition back to a harder surface such as sand or grass, you will notice improvements in your power execution and lateral speed.
Have you trained on grass to develop your speed? What benefits have you experienced?
Let us know in the comments below.
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