Over the past three decades, fitness shoe manufacturers have developed technology to provide shock absorption and support for our feet and ankles. We must stop and ask ourselves: how does this technology alter the natural function of the foot?
Unfortunately, advanced support does not allow articulation of our joints and soft tissue. As a shod society, we’ve adapted to less mobility, strength and agility in our our feet and lower legs. We’ve disconnected with our feet!
The willPower Method® programs have been barefoot in gyms since 2000, and claim the title of the Original Foot Fitness Program. We know how to teach students to stretch and strengthen their toes and increase circulation and mobility throughout their feet and ankles. We train our clients of all ages to land on their feet gracefully; reducing pain and the likelihood of injury.
In 2011, we partnered with Vibram FiveFingers®, the leaders in minimalist shoes, to help shoe-wearers to have safer and more comfortable experiences when transitioning to minimal shoe. Stacey Lei Krauss, the creator of The willPower Method®, is the Fitness Advisor for Vibram’s Advisory Board. Her main focus is teaching instructors and trainers the importance of training the feet, so that their clients can reap the benefits. Recently, we’ve seen more fitness programs kicking off their shoes and training barefoot. Time’s-a-changin’. Learn about it now!
Barefoot running is different than Foot Fitness
Foot Fitness is the acclimation of re-connecting with your feet. Foot fitness is a progressive program which moves begins as non-impact. We can help you to run barefoot – if that’s what you want – but first you need to strengthen your feet and ankles – essentially wake them up – since they have been bound, cushioned and supported for so long. We train with naked feet when in a clean, safe environment – but when in doubt, we wear Vibram FiveFingers to keep feet protected from hygiene issues and safety hazards.
As your central nervous system begins to receive information through your skin and other sensory receptors, you’ll become more aware and feel your feet and lower legs awaken. Once you wake up your feet, your body will be more functional for everyday life in a barefoot-type shoe… and you can even start barefoot running, if you’d like. Do you want more supportive science? Check out what barefoot expert, Dr. Daniel Lieberman (Harvard University) has published.
A healthy, aligned and balanced body begins in your feet, and will translate through your entire kinetic chain (ankle, knee, hip, lower back).
Sole Training® is based on a series of exercises which you can do anywhere, anytime. Learn to align your feet to enhance your posture and prevent and correct injuries. Explore reflexology methods, and increase circulation. Strengthen and stretch all ten toes, and develop flexible strength in your feet and ankles. Over time you will enjoy improved balance in daily activities and workouts, a stronger walking/ running stride, and significant reductions of foot, leg and lower back pain.
who should be sole training®?
Get OUT of those expensive, uncomfortable orthotics, and stop those painful cortisone injections! Are you dealing with an old injury or plantar fasciitis? You should re-hab once and for all. Are you finding that your balance skills are not what they used to be? Sole Training® is perfect place to begin. Athletes: this is an opportunity to build your competitive edge. Sole Training® is especially wise for young athletes who are interested in developing a strong foundation of good habits which will last a lifetime.
learn through video
This 20-minute video download will guide you through two sequences. The first sequence is a simple restorative self-massage sequence which will help alleviate foot pain, and a perfect 5-minute preparation for a walk, run, or a yoga class. Do you have plantar fasciitis – and painful feet in the morning? Sole Training® is the SMARTEST 7-minute solution! The second sequence is a standing series which promotes strength, flexibilty and kinesthetic awarenes – which is a brilliant approach for fitness and cross-fit athletes, board-sport athletes, runners, yogis, pilates students and dancers.
more Foot Fitness resources
Begin your Foot Fitness program by simply slipping into a pair Vibram FiveFingers. Wake your feet up; building strength and flexibility every time you take a step. Wearing a natural movement shoe will require the muscles in your feet and ankles to stop resting – and start working. You’ll need to be patient, and aware. Think: baby steps.
Find a willPower Method® workout near you. This smart full-body BAREFOOT workout is a perfect cross-training tool for any athlete or fitness enthusiast. The workout DVD is also available on this site.
Listen to words of wisdom from Harvard’s Barefoot Professor. (In 6 minutes, he might change your mind about those structured running shoes in your closet).
Check out The Barefoot Book, by Dr. Daniel Howell of Liberty University. This easy read will open your eyes… to your feet.
Of course, be sure to read Born To Run. Although we’ve been training barefoot for over a decade, author Chris MacDougall was the man who brought barefoot training into mainstream media – by telling us of the joy of running through the eyes of tribal civilization.