Go Barefoot on the Bosu

bosuGym culture is all about sneakers and the Bosu balance trainer is all about gyms. Anyone who buys a Bosu for their house first saw it at the gym. I have watched plenty of Bosu videos and with the exception of my own; everyone exercising on my favorite half sphere is wearing well supported sneakers.

What a bummer! Our feet are not meant to be in shoes let alone well supported sneakers. And everyone’s gym workout would be radically improved if they simply left their shoes at the door.

There are twenty six bones in the feet will thirty-three possible articulations. Thirty-three different waysBlausen_0411_FootAnatomy for the feet to move if unshod, and I have to admit I’m not exactly sure how many of those articulations are limited by shoes but I would guess more than half, if not most.

Our feet are highly adaptable to terrain and each and every one of those adaptations connects to muscles up the chain of the body.

There are four layers of muscle in the foot and if you have ever done a barefoot balance on one foot such as tree pose you know just how much the foot can move wobble and shake while searching for a balance point. All of that movement is limited by your gym shoes.

When our feet don’t need to adapt to a surface they are on we limit the work we can be doing on the whole body. A certain number of muscles simply won’t be involved in the dynamic actions that would be available if our feet were bare.

One of the main exercises I perform on the Bosu is pretty simple and basic. I stand on one foot on the ball side with that foot directly in the middle of the ball. And then I feel my feet go crazy. We aren’t meant to be still so balance always involves movement.  We don’t stop moving until we take our last breath.