Saturday, May 9, 2009

Vibram Five Fingers: Tim Ferris and Barefoot Training

Tim Ferris Frees The Toes: Vibram Five Fingers

Tim Ferris of "Four Hour Work Week" fame had a great post the other day about flat, flexible shoes and especially the Vibram Five Fingers (VFFs for those "in da know).

Vibram Five Fingers Shoes: The Barefoot Alternative

This falls right inline with my thoughts---get your feet/ankles back to the way they were designed with mobility work (I like Z Health mobility work), then wear the most minimal things possible to not mess them up. The changes in pain and performance are amazing.

Virtually every athlete I work with leaves with some feet/ankle mobility work and we even lift barefoot.

Just yesterday an athlete came in and left with 3 foot drills that enabled both of this glutes, right hamstring and both psoas muscles to work much much better.

Keep in mind that the body is wired so that the feet/ankle position causes muscles in the hip (glutes, psoas, etc) to fire correctly due to gait (walking motion). Messed up feet/ankles = messed up hips. Fix your feet first!

I have not personally tried the Vibrams yet, but I just found out Midwest Mountaineering here in Minnesota has a wide stock of them, so I am going to hit them up soon. I hear REI has them now too. Heck, even U of MN coach/ XL Athlete Cal Dietz showed up at my office at the U of MN the other day with a pair, so all the really cool kid s are sporting them.

Other alternative are Nike Free (3.0 or older 5.0s) and Asics (see post below)

Random Thoughts Friday: Shoes Mobility, and ACSM

Here is another great article about barefoot running affecting shoe design! Hopefully this trend continues.

The Running Shoe Debate: How Barefoot Runners are Shaping the Shoe Industry

MC has a great review of Vibrams also

Fitting Vibram FiveFingers - And Injinji Socks - review

MBTs, the Anti Shoe = the Anti Solution?

MBTs the Anti Shoe

My experience is that I am NOT a fan of the MBTs. I spent about 45 minutes at their booth at the last ACSM and while they were very nice people and got a cool gait assessment via force read out in real time to see the difference, I think the foot should have a 3D motion and with the MBTs it is pretty straight through the foot (not natural).

My stride length also decreased (I had on a pair of Nike frees, trying to blend in there since I was presenting). I also had much less movement at my hips with the MBTs.

Just my thoughts. From the people that I saw there that had them on, not many of them moved well in my opinion. The MBTs are actually VERY stiff and I feel promote an unnatural gait. Although if you refuse to do mobility work and continue to have stiff feet, they may be an option for you, but this is like putting a helmet on so that you can keep beating your head against the wall.


Music update: Testament live tomorrow night here in Minnesota!

Tomorrow night one of the greatest metal/thrash bands Testament will be performing here in my backyard! Whoooo ha. Can't wait. I missed them last time they were here in July by 2 days. I was shopping at Home Depot for a bigger sledgehammer to use for training (sledgehammer strikes on a tire are awesome for an "ab workout") and had on my Testament shirt and one the employees stated that they were just here the other night. Drat!!

So, I have my ticket now and I can't wait. Unearth is opening too. If you are going to be at the show, drop me a line.

Guitarist Alex Skolnick commented on the upcoming tour:

"This is the first 'proper' Testament tour since our reunion a few years ago. It is our best routing of North American cities yet, including places such as Philadelphia and Atlanta, which we haven't been able to hit since reuniting. As a band, we've never sounded better. With our full-length set, reasonable ticket prices and show that is going to knock you out, now is the time to get out of the house and come see us!"

Testament live--Into the Pits