Is lifting weights barefoot safe?

“When you wear any kind of shoe, you’ll be about an inch taller if you’re barefoot,” says Anna Swisher, an American weightlifting coach. “You have one more inch to move the bar.” This extra inch may not make much of a difference to a lift but can add up over the course of a training cycle.

Lifting one percent of your body weight won’t put too much strain on your feet, but when lifting significantly more of your weight, the right shoes become essential, as this puts on the table. foot a load greater than it can handle, says Dr. Emily Splichal, a podiatrist and author of the book “Strong Barefoot: Unlocking the Secret to Longer Mobility”. As Dr. Splichal notes, many lifters will do a warm-up and light lift with bare feet, then, as they push higher, wear weightlifting shoes.

Most specialized weightlifting shoes have a stiff, thick sole that cannot be compressed. “Balance is much easier and much more stable,” says Mark Rippetoe, a weightlifter and author of “Starting Strength: The Basics of Weightlifting.”

Lift shoes also have a wedge heel that helps tilt the foot forward, and in Dr. Swisher’s experience, the stability they provide can help you maintain good form, which is especially important during training. dumbbell. “Having extra lift in the heels helps keep your torso more upright, which helps keep the barbell’s center of gravity more in line with your center of gravity,” says Dr. This reduces the amount of pressure placed on your lower back, which can help prevent injury.

However, some shoes are really not suitable for lifting weights. Mr. Rippetoe often sees people lifting in running shoes rather than specialized lifting shoes. “Squatting in running shoes is like squatting on a mattress,” says Mr. Rippetoe. “Each rep will be different.” This makes it difficult for you to stay in good shape, which can also lead to injury.

While lifting weights barefoot can offer many benefits, all experts, including Dr Haeuptle, warn there are some risks, including the potential for injury, if not performed. right way.

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