If you’re serious about your workout routine, chances are, you’re no stranger to squats. Squats are the ‘king’ of lower body movements, right up there next to deadlifts.
One technique that you may have heard about before and be wondering about is squatting with no shoes.
Let’s look at why people do this and whether it’s right for you.
Squatting In Traditional Running Shoes
To better understand why people squat without shoes, it’s important to first look at how squatting in traditional running shoes impacts your performance.
If you look at your average running shoe, you’ll come to see that it has a very large wedge-like heel on it, which elevates the foot quite considerably. Running shoes are far from ‘flat’, which can make lowering yourself down to the ground fully rather challenging.
Many people, when squatting in running shoes notice they feel stuck at a certain portion of the movement pattern, unable to get down much lower.
Enter Bare Foot Squatting
This then leads them to turn to bare foot squatting. By removing the running shoes, they make direct contact with the floor, allowing for a greater range of motion and therefore, possibly superior results.
Another added benefit that many cite from squatting without running shoes is the fact that this will help work the muscles in the feet more as well. Without all that support and padding around you, you’ll be forced to balance the body weight with just your foot muscles instead.
Over time with continual training, this can mean much stronger ankle and arch muscle development. It’s a similar concept to those who choose to run in bare feet as well.
By forcing the foot muscles to react to each step you take, they’ll grow stronger in the process.
Alternatives To Bare Food Squatting
Now, if you are someone who is worried about possibly rolling an ankle as you squat barefoot or just doesn’t like feeling your feet on the floor, you can instead look into specifically designed squat shoes.
These will mimic squatting without shoes as best as possible as they place the feet more flat on the floor and make it feel like you are almost ‘stuck’ to the ground so to speak.
They are a far superior option for squatting compared to the traditional running shoe, so if you aren’t going to go barefoot, it’s something that anyone who is looking to improve their squat will want to consider.
Barefoot squatting isn’t for everyone, but it is important that you realize the benefits to doing so and if you can, give it a try. Don’t be too quick to shun the idea until you actually get out there and try squatting without any shoes or socks on. It’s recommended to take your socks off as well to get the firmest grip on the floor as possible.
Start with a lighter weight as you attempt this for the first time and then work up from there.