Get Strong Feet
A characteristic of any 'system' is interconnectivity and interdependence. All parts of a system interact with one another and the entire system cannot operate optimally if any part is excluded.
“I can’t prove this, but I believe when my runners train barefoot, they run faster and suffer fewer injuries.”
— Vin Lananna, Director of Track and Field for the University of Oregon and seven-time NCAA Coach of the Year.
Much has been written about barefoot running, the claims are that it strengthens the feet, strengthen the arches, improves movement, and balance and increases flexibilty and mobility.
In March of this year, researchers published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, "Effects on Muscle Strength, the Foot Arch, and Dynamic Parameters Before and After the Training." The researchers strength trained the flexor muscles of the feet in a population of healthy men from the ages of 22-32. The subjects performed 200 reps per day on a special exercise device for the toes with about a 6 - 7 pound weight for 8 weeks. They targeted the intrinsic muscles of the feet, specifically the muscles of the interphalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints.
After pre and post testing, the researchers found significant improvement in the 1-legged long jump distances, vertical jumping heights, and 50-m dash times. Keep, and Get, the entire system Strong.