If you’re “new” to training your feet (less than 1 year), then consider this: for the past 10 or 15, or 25 years, you had you feet “cast” in a shoe (stability, cushioning and motion control). During those “dormant years” you gave your feet very few opportunities to move, bend, or stretch. In that time your foot muscles atrophied, and your joints became stiff and unstable. Don’t worry! You can re-train them (you have the technology!) This training needs to be intentional – and constant.
If you’re a veteran to barefoot running, minimal running, or even just minimal shoe wear, you KNOW the importance of a proper foot warm-up. Increasing circulation and mobility in the foot/ankle complex is critical to a successful (and injury-free) minimal or barefoot workout.
As athletes (people who move their bodies in a strong and regular manner) we’ve know the importance of warm-ups, in general. Circulation, mobility, movement rehearsal and mental preparation are amongst the many benefits. An important rule that I’ve learned: an honest warm-up can be the differential between an amazing workout and a painful workout. (I prefer to be passionately and happily drenched in sweat).
This video shows one of my favorite foot warm-ups when I’m in the weight room. I typically do a one minute set and complete about 30 reps. Experiment to find the resistance that works well for you. Remember: it’s a warm-up! (low and slow) Give it a shot… you’ll never know how it feels until you try.