5 Reasons You Should Squat Barefoot


If you want to maximize the muscle and fitness gains that squats have to offer, you may like to consider taking off your training shoes and working out barefoot for a change. According to many fitness enthusiasts, shedding your shoes when squatting can help in a number of ways, some of which may not be immediately apparent if you have never tried it before.

How Taking Your Shoes off Could Help

barefoot squats

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The first time that you attempt to squat without shoes, it is a good idea to do so with less weight than you would normally use. This is because the feeling is quite different to when you squat wearing training shoes and you may need a little time to adjust. The 5 ways we have identified that squatting barefoot can help, are listed below.

1. Improved Balance

barefoot squat

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Because there are no cushioned soles between your feet and the floor, barefoot squatting makes it easier for you to maintain good balance throughout the complete range of motion. You may find that your ankles need some time to strengthen as you become used to not wearing shoes but the increased awareness you will have of your balance when your feet are in direct contact with the floor will more than make up for this temporary inconvenience.

2. Keeping the Weight over Your Heels

split squat

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By keeping the weight over your heels at all times, you will be working your muscles as hard as possible and gaining maximum benefit from the repetitions that you make. Most athletic shoes have a raised heel that makes it easier to squat, thereby reducing the benefits of the exercise.

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3. Allow Your Calves to Move Freely


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Shoes that are designed to support the ankles can be useful when lifting heavy weights but they can also restrict the range of motion of your calves, which will make it harder for you to reach your full potential when you are performing squats. If you want to make sure that you are able to lift to your full potential, you need to avoid restricting the movement of any of your leg muscles, including but not limited to your calves. Click here to read our guide on how to build awesome calves.

4. More Convenient


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If you don’t have to pack training shoes, you can fit your gym gear into a much smaller bag. A small bag is far more convenient when you are planning to train during your lunch hour or on your way home from work and the easier it is to carry, the less excuses you will have not to work out.

5. Cheaper

cheap squat

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Good quality training shoes can be expensive so if you don’t need to wear them at all, you could save a significant amount of money on your fitness gear. The less money you have to spend the more likely you are to train!

What are you waiting for?!

There you have it – five very good reasons to try barefoot squats if you haven’t already done so. Be sure to tell your friends about the benefits of barefoot squatting too.

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Need some serious shoes for squats​ and deadlifts? Read our review of the best ones here. They aren't as expensive as you may think.

Squat Barefoot

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  • Jim
  • October 19, 2015

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