Do you want to get faster and more explosive on the soccer field? Would you like to lower the risk of getting injured? If so, keep reading!
Many soccer teams that I train or athletes that I work with share a common trait when they warm up…they all warm up in their bare feet. Here is the reason for that. By wearing shoes all the time, we are not strengthening the small muscles in the foot as well as we could. Shoes obviously serve a purpose but try warming up your team without their shoes on and by doing this you will start to strengthen all of those small muscles in the feet, you will also help to strengthen the joints and ligaments in the ankle and lower leg as well.
I have written before about the Active Dynamic Warm up (ADW). If players do their ADW (series of exercises to warm their core body temperature up and then stretch dynamically) before their practice starts, they will in effect be doing themselves a huge favor.
Since soccer players (and most athletes) use their feet so much to not only play the sport of soccer but to be athletic too, training their feet to get stronger will absolutely increase their soccer speed, make them stronger which in turn will make them more explosive and will also reduce the number of lower leg injuries as well.
While I know this example is a bit of a reach, if you consider it, then you can see how barefoot training can effect your feet. Alright, so here is the example. If you wore baseball gloves on your hands for 2 weeks and did your normal routine, when you took the baseball gloves off and then tried to open a brand new jar of peanut butter, you probably couldn’t do it. The small muscles in your hand got weaker since you didn’t use them fully. The same thing applies when you wear shoes.
If you do a barefoot warm up, please make certain to clear the area of any rocks or sticks or anything that could injure a players foot. If you train indoors, then this issue is greatly reduced.
Just 15 minutes of barefoot training will help soccer players generate more speed, increase their agility and help to reduce lower leg and foot injuries.
I hope you have a great day!