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Barefoot Running: The Effects of an 8-Week Barefoot Training Program.

Mullen S, Cotton J, Bechtold M, Toby EB - Orthop J Sports Med (2014)

Bottom Line: It has been proposed that running barefoot can lead to improved strength and proprioception.Five subjects completed the pretests but did not complete the study for reasons not related to study outcomes.Although statistically significant changes were not observed between the pre- and posttest evaluations in strength and proprioception with the 8-week low-intensity barefoot running regimen, this does not necessarily mean that these changes do not occur.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: It has been proposed that running barefoot can lead to improved strength and proprioception. However, the duration that a runner must train barefoot to observe these changes is unknown.

Hypothesis: Runners participating in a barefoot running program will have improved proprioception, increased lower extremity strength, and an increase in the volume or size of the intrinsic musculature of the feet.

Study design: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 2.

Methods: In this 8-week study, 29 runners with a mean age of 36.34 years were randomized into either a control group (n = 10) who completed training in their regular running shoes or to an experimental barefoot group (n = 14). Pretraining tests consisted of a volumetric measurement of the foot followed by a strength and dynamic balance assessment. Five subjects completed the pretests but did not complete the study for reasons not related to study outcomes. Participants then completed 8 weeks of training runs. They repeated the strength and dynamic balance assessment after 8 weeks.

Results: Significant changes from baseline to 8 weeks were observed within the barefoot group for single-leg hop (right, P = .0121; left, P = .0430) and reach and balance (right, P = .0029) and within the control group for single-left leg hop (P = .0286) and reach and balance (right, P = .0096; left, P = .0014). However, when comparing the differences in changes from baseline to 8 weeks between the barefoot and control groups, the improvements were not significant at the .05 level for all measures.

Conclusion: Although statistically significant changes were not observed between the pre- and posttest evaluations in strength and proprioception with the 8-week low-intensity barefoot running regimen, this does not necessarily mean that these changes do not occur. It is possible that it may take months or years to observe these changes, and a short course such as this trial is insufficient.

No MeSH data available.


A Plexiglas box was constructed to conduct volumetric measurement of the foot by water displacement.
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fig1-2325967114525582: A Plexiglas box was constructed to conduct volumetric measurement of the foot by water displacement.

Mentions: The pretraining tests consisted of a volumetric measurement of the foot followed by a strength and dynamic balance assessment. A custom-made Plexiglas (Arkema, Colombes, France) box was fashioned to carry out the volumetric assessment (Figure 1). This assessment was completed by measuring the volume of water displaced by the foot when it was submerged to the level of the malleoli in the Plexiglas box.20,24 A single measurement of the amount (in milliliters) of water displaced was taken of each foot and recorded. The participants were instructed not to run or do other vigorous activity prior to attending the pre- and posttest, as this could in theory affect the volume of the foot. Then, following a 5-minute stationary bicycle warm-up without resistance, the participants commenced strength, dynamic balance, and stability testing performed by a blinded physical therapist. The testing consisted of 5 different tests: (1) single-leg balance, (2) reach for distance, (3) single-leg hop, (4) single-leg hop on a trampoline, and (5) vertical jump. The first test performed was the single-leg balance and reach for distance. The participant must reach out as far as possible with 1 leg while balancing on the other. It was repeated 3 times on each foot, and an average distance was recorded. This test measures dynamic stability and balance as well as eccentric quadriceps and gastrocnemius/soleus complex control.12 Then, they performed a single-leg hop for distance. This was performed by hopping as far as possible in a single hop from the stationary opposite foot. This was repeated 3 times on each foot, and an average distance was recorded. The single-leg hop measures quadriceps power as well as dynamic stability.7 Next, they completed heel raises to fatigue. The participants had to keep pace with a metronome set at 80 beats per minute. Fatigue was defined as an inability to keep pace with the metronome. The heel raise test measures gastrocnemius/soleus complex strength and endurance.10,15,16 They then performed a single-leg hop test on a trampoline for maximum repetitions in 30 seconds. Again, this test was repeated 3 times on each foot, and the average number of hops was recorded. This test measures dynamic quadriceps and the gastrocnemius/soleus complex strength and endurance.7 Finally, the participants did a standing vertical jump with double limb take-off. This was measured using the Vertec vertical leap measurement device (Vertec Corp, North Easton, Massachusetts, USA). This was repeated 3 times, and the average vertical leap was recorded. The standing vertical leap measures concentric strength of the hip extensors, quadriceps, and gastronemius/soleus complex.25 The foot-strike pattern was not evaluated in this study because it would be extremely difficult to perform foot-strike analysis on a grass surface. Performing a foot-strike analysis on a treadmill would not indicate whether the participants would have adopted the forefoot strike while running on grass; therefore, this measurement was not included.


Barefoot Running: The Effects of an 8-Week Barefoot Training Program.

Mullen S, Cotton J, Bechtold M, Toby EB - Orthop J Sports Med (2014)

A Plexiglas box was constructed to conduct volumetric measurement of the foot by water displacement.
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2 - License 3
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4555562&req=5

fig1-2325967114525582: A Plexiglas box was constructed to conduct volumetric measurement of the foot by water displacement.
Mentions: The pretraining tests consisted of a volumetric measurement of the foot followed by a strength and dynamic balance assessment. A custom-made Plexiglas (Arkema, Colombes, France) box was fashioned to carry out the volumetric assessment (Figure 1). This assessment was completed by measuring the volume of water displaced by the foot when it was submerged to the level of the malleoli in the Plexiglas box.20,24 A single measurement of the amount (in milliliters) of water displaced was taken of each foot and recorded. The participants were instructed not to run or do other vigorous activity prior to attending the pre- and posttest, as this could in theory affect the volume of the foot. Then, following a 5-minute stationary bicycle warm-up without resistance, the participants commenced strength, dynamic balance, and stability testing performed by a blinded physical therapist. The testing consisted of 5 different tests: (1) single-leg balance, (2) reach for distance, (3) single-leg hop, (4) single-leg hop on a trampoline, and (5) vertical jump. The first test performed was the single-leg balance and reach for distance. The participant must reach out as far as possible with 1 leg while balancing on the other. It was repeated 3 times on each foot, and an average distance was recorded. This test measures dynamic stability and balance as well as eccentric quadriceps and gastrocnemius/soleus complex control.12 Then, they performed a single-leg hop for distance. This was performed by hopping as far as possible in a single hop from the stationary opposite foot. This was repeated 3 times on each foot, and an average distance was recorded. The single-leg hop measures quadriceps power as well as dynamic stability.7 Next, they completed heel raises to fatigue. The participants had to keep pace with a metronome set at 80 beats per minute. Fatigue was defined as an inability to keep pace with the metronome. The heel raise test measures gastrocnemius/soleus complex strength and endurance.10,15,16 They then performed a single-leg hop test on a trampoline for maximum repetitions in 30 seconds. Again, this test was repeated 3 times on each foot, and the average number of hops was recorded. This test measures dynamic quadriceps and the gastrocnemius/soleus complex strength and endurance.7 Finally, the participants did a standing vertical jump with double limb take-off. This was measured using the Vertec vertical leap measurement device (Vertec Corp, North Easton, Massachusetts, USA). This was repeated 3 times, and the average vertical leap was recorded. The standing vertical leap measures concentric strength of the hip extensors, quadriceps, and gastronemius/soleus complex.25 The foot-strike pattern was not evaluated in this study because it would be extremely difficult to perform foot-strike analysis on a grass surface. Performing a foot-strike analysis on a treadmill would not indicate whether the participants would have adopted the forefoot strike while running on grass; therefore, this measurement was not included.

Bottom Line: It has been proposed that running barefoot can lead to improved strength and proprioception.Five subjects completed the pretests but did not complete the study for reasons not related to study outcomes.Although statistically significant changes were not observed between the pre- and posttest evaluations in strength and proprioception with the 8-week low-intensity barefoot running regimen, this does not necessarily mean that these changes do not occur.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: It has been proposed that running barefoot can lead to improved strength and proprioception. However, the duration that a runner must train barefoot to observe these changes is unknown.

Hypothesis: Runners participating in a barefoot running program will have improved proprioception, increased lower extremity strength, and an increase in the volume or size of the intrinsic musculature of the feet.

Study design: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 2.

Methods: In this 8-week study, 29 runners with a mean age of 36.34 years were randomized into either a control group (n = 10) who completed training in their regular running shoes or to an experimental barefoot group (n = 14). Pretraining tests consisted of a volumetric measurement of the foot followed by a strength and dynamic balance assessment. Five subjects completed the pretests but did not complete the study for reasons not related to study outcomes. Participants then completed 8 weeks of training runs. They repeated the strength and dynamic balance assessment after 8 weeks.

Results: Significant changes from baseline to 8 weeks were observed within the barefoot group for single-leg hop (right, P = .0121; left, P = .0430) and reach and balance (right, P = .0029) and within the control group for single-left leg hop (P = .0286) and reach and balance (right, P = .0096; left, P = .0014). However, when comparing the differences in changes from baseline to 8 weeks between the barefoot and control groups, the improvements were not significant at the .05 level for all measures.

Conclusion: Although statistically significant changes were not observed between the pre- and posttest evaluations in strength and proprioception with the 8-week low-intensity barefoot running regimen, this does not necessarily mean that these changes do not occur. It is possible that it may take months or years to observe these changes, and a short course such as this trial is insufficient.

No MeSH data available.