How do you avoid injuries when running barefoot? If you follow a step-by-step approach to barefoot running you would know that you must slowly build up your ability to actually run at a full pace and across any terrain. The primary ways that barefooted runners become injured in some way is to force themselves to run without shoes and across longer distances before they are adequately prepared to do so.
Just as we learned to walk over the course of days and months, so too we must be very patient in our transition to running without shoes. In fact, it helps to constantly remind yourself that the use of sneakers or running shoes has actually trained your body to react and perform in ways that will not work when running without them.
Consider the most common thing that people will do with their bodies while running – stand up tall and rigid. While sneakers allow someone to do this sort of thing with their posture; when running barefoot it will be almost impossible to hold that sort of rigid position without sustaining injury. Instead, the runner is going to have to train themselves to lift their knees more than they are used to and to allow their upper body to swing at a far more relaxed pace and angle. Many barefoot runners will actually say that they learned their postures from watching classic Marx Brothers movies. The silly “duck walk” that Groucho Marx is so famous for doing is quite close to the posturing and knee-lifting that makes barefoot running safe and effective.
Another thing to avoid while learning to run barefoot, and in the years afterward, is to clear the mind and to try not to intentionally position the feet in any specific way when landing or “pushing off”. When someone is overly conscious of the way they are using their feet, they often overcompensate and either injure themselves or even fall over.
Generally, barefooted runners must simply learn how to position their bodies and how to gently lift their toes as they land in order to maintain the appropriate positioning. Outside of that they must try not to force their knees, ankles or feet into a certain position while they are in motion too.
It is significant to note that the ultimate goal of barefoot running is to move the body forward and without causing any injury. This is something that standard running procedures do not take into consideration because they consider that the running shoes or sneakers can protect the body from harm. This is why runners may appear rigid and why they sustain so many common injuries to their knees, hips, ankles and feet.
Barefoot running is actually designed to prevent injuries of all kinds, and to even minimize or reduce the likelihood of sore muscles and joints. The real key to avoiding injuries is to transition slowly into the movements, and to only actually begin forward motion once the basics of feet and knee movements have been mastered. Most barefoot runners will say that it takes a few weeks to master the positions, get the bare feet used to new terrain, and clear the mind of old habits.

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