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Effects of barefoot running on muscle and running forces

How does muscle activation and running forces change after 4 months of barefoot running?

Barefoot running has been popularized in recent years due to minimalist footwear. The premise that barefoot running is built on, is that as humans we have evolved over centuries to run without shoes. Studies have shown that running technique differs when wearing shoes versus barefoot. This article investigates if progressive barefoot running can alter running mechanics when shod or not in the long term. 

This study has shown that the incorporation of barefoot running into training program will decrease impact forces, muscle activation intensity and improve shock absorption. After 16 weeks of incorporating barefoot running into a training program muscle activation intensity in gastronemius, tibialis anterior, vastus lateralis and rectus femoris decreased. Only gastronemius muscle activity was attenuated during shod running. Vertical ground reaction forces were seen to decrease post intervention during shod and barefoot running. 

> From: Azevedo et al., PLoS One 11 (2017-03-09 07:09:57) e0167234 . All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the online summary.

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