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Q&A from April 2014

Here are the questions, and our answers, from the Q&A we ran in April.

Q – In your YouTube videos you are always barefoot. Is there a reason for this and should everyone train barefoot?

A – Great question. We do always try to train barefoot or in socks or Vibram five fingers and there are many reasons for this. The main ones are:

  • To keep the foot healthy and working as normally as possible – By training barefoot you are exercising the muscles, bones and joint structures of the foot helping the foot to behave the way it is meant too. This helps prevent the muscles and fascia of the foot becoming tight, weak or imbalanced, which in turn keeps the foot healthy.
  • To help improve proprioception (our awareness of our bodies position and amount of strength being employed during movement) – It is hard to know how your foot is landing during an exercise when you have trainers on. This can have big implications when we exercise. For instance if we are lunging and our foot is rolling in our trainer, we may not be aware of this, and the impact it is having on the rest of the body may go unnoticed until pain/injury begins to surface.
  • It helps improve our ankle stability – Trainers are offering most peoples’ feet fake ankle stability. This means their ankles appear stable, but wouldn’t be if the trainer wasn’t there. Our ankles then become weaker than the rest of our body and when the trainers get old and offer less support, our ankles will be more susceptible to injury.

Try to incorporate some barefoot training into your routine, but please start out slowly to give your feet a chance and, of course, please stay safe. Don’t train barefoot on rough or jagged terrain and obviously check the rules of the facility in which you train before you start.

Barefoot

Q – Why do my hips shift/twist to the right when I squat and is this a bad thing?

A – This is something that we see a lot when people are squatting and ideally we would like to keep the hips in the centre of our bodies when we squat. Like with most questions in the fitness world there are hundreds of possible answers as to what is causing this problem, but here are three of the most common:

  • Tight calf/ankle on the opposite side – So in this case it would likely be the left calf/ankle that is tight. This means that you cannot get enough movement through the ankle when you squat, so the leg starts to jam and pushes your hips to the other side. Solution = Gastroc / Soleus stretches or self massage.
  • Tight hip on the same side – So in this case it would be the right hand side. The reason this happens, is that when you lower into the squat there is some stretching of certain hip muscles and if the one side is tighter they will pull your hips to that side so that they don’t have to stretch very far. Solution = Multi-plane hip flexor stretch and IT Band / TFL stretch.
  • Weak glutes – If the glutes aren’t switching on, the hips are likely to shift across to the weaker side in order to place that leg closer to the mid-line of your body. Solution = strengthen the glutes with other exercises and activate them in your warm up before your squat workout.

Squat

Q – I often wake up in the middle of the night in order to pee, which disturbs my sleep each night. Are there strategies to prevent this?

Need to pee

A – This is a very common topic and a lot of people do have their sleep disturbed by needing to pee in the night. Obviously we want to sleep as soundly as we can, so we need to try and eliminate this problem. Here are two strategies to do that:

  • Wind down before bed each night to try and reduce overall stress levels – Peeing in the middle of night can often be a sign of fatigue and being overly stressed, so by winding down each night before we sleep we may begin to feel less stressed, sleep better and therefore lower our overall stress levels.
  • Manage our water consumption – Sometimes the problem comes from poor hydration management. Often people who are busy in the day realise they are dehydrated in the evening so cram a litre or two down before bed. People who often eat late may also experience this problem, due to there being a decent amount of water in high quality foods. The solution is to drink the majority of your water during the day, don’t eat so late at night and limit the amount of water you drink with your dinner.

Hope you find some of these answers useful and please don’t hesitate to contact us with a question if you have one.

Until next time.

Live Healthy,
aps Fitness

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07565 528 663

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