Barefoot contact is designed to give the brain some valuable information. This is why many athletes tend to wake up their “sleepy feet” and improve foot function by walking on sod, river rocks, and sand. These different textures and stimuli help “wake up” both the feet and brain, making you more aware of your movement and improving overall foot stability. Moreover, theory suggests that stimulation to the bottom of the foot will cause reflexive stability in the lower back and pelvis.

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In addition, a recent study from 2015 showed that trigger point therapy on the bottom of your foot (similar to walking on those river rocks) increased single leg stability and overall posture. I encourage athletes stimulate the bottom of their feet prior to training or doing their task. Here is a picture of a set up I use.

Foot Dexterity Drills
Foot dexterity drills are a great way to increase mind/muscle connection and improve control. To some, it’s as difficult as attempting the SPOCK; however, over time and and multiple attempts, you will begin to increase these mind muscle pathways. This exercise has a wealth of benefits and tends to reduce tension through the foot, ankle and knee. Attempt these drills and see how much stronger you become on your board.

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2X4 Training for the Feet

I’ve found that barefoot training for sensory input to the feet helps drive glute activation and overall stability. There is very minimal coaching required and there are plenty of regressions and progressions. Unconventional tools like 2×4 training provide quality load and neurological adaption for movement pattern corrections, rehabilitation, and many training programs.

Unconventional training allows the body to get into particular positions with safer leverage points providing an awesome tool to assist in correcting faulty movement patterns and building explosive strength.

One of the greatest things about unconventional training is its diversity and myriad of exercise and movement options. Implementing these tools into your training and rehab can be quick, easy, and very effective.

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These exercises may seem very simple; however, I challenge any seasoned boardsport athlete to attempt these exercises for impeccable improvements. As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Note: You can find and learn more from the author online here.

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