The best exercise for hips and hamstrings
Exercises

The best exercise for hips and hamstrings

Barefoot Junkie’s Move of The Month Moving our body effectively is at the very foundation of what we believe in at Barefoot Junkie. That’s why we’re so passionate about Vibram FiveFingers and their ability to enable us to do just that. Why its worth going barefoot A ‘barefoot’ shoe, due to its design, amplifies a more natural form of running, more harmonious with human physiology, allowing your feet to move more naturally. In turn a more natural movement can mean a reduction in common running injuries, many of which can be attributed to a more cushioned, supportive running shoe. The benefits of moving better We want to help you to move better in as many ways as possible and our exercise boffins have come up with a great mobility exercise for our first Move of The Month piece of content. This sequence is excellent for: Opening up your hips which in turn helps you to move better and improve posture Stretching the hip flexor muscles at the front of your thighs and the hamstrings around the back Strengthening your core muscles and helps to facilitate good trunk mobility Your brain!, since the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and visa versa any unusual movement that involves both sides encourages your neural pathways to work a little harder Showing off at parties!, it’s not as easy to do as it looks. How to do the Half Sit Out Step 1: • Start by standing on a firm, flat surface with your feet hip width apart• Lean forwards and place your hands flat on the floor in front of your feet• Bend from your hips instead of your knees. You will feel this stretch through your hamstrings and calves. If you find it difficult to put your whole hand on the floor that’s ok. It may take practice to improve your flexibility. Step 2: • Walk forwards with your hands, leave your feet where they are but lift your heels and move onto your toes• Keep going until your body is straight and your arms are underneath your shoulders. Step 3: • Lift your left foot off the floor, bend your knee and bring your foot back down on the floor right next to your left hand• Try to keep your left hand still while doing this and make sure your right leg remains straight. You’ll feel this stretch in your hamstrings at the back of your left leg and your hip flexors at the front of your right leg. If you find it too hard to move your left leg forward, drop down to your knees and try again. Step 4:   • Now take your left hand away from the floor and stretch up, straightening your arm as if you are reaching towards the ceiling• Keep your legs still. This will begin to stretch the muscles through your back and chest as well as strengthening your core muscles. Step 5:   • Bring your arm back down and then move your right leg through to the front • Try to do this without it touching the floor, moving your left foot or moving your right hand.If this is too hard to do, you can slide your leg across the floor as you move it through. With practice you will improve. Step 6:   • Finally, take your right leg back to the starting position and put your left hand back on the floor• Then repeat the whole movement with your left leg and right arm. When you’ve completed the exercise on both sides, walk back towards your feet as you did at the start and stand up. That’s the workout!. You can repeat this movement several times and remember practice makes perfect. A bit about the shoes! The Vibram FiveFingers KSO Classic (Mens | Womens) was one of the first ever barefoot shoes developed. Possibly the most successful Fivefingers shoe to date and a Barefoot Junkie favourite. Recognised for its versatility in the gym or outdoors on a range of terrains whether you are scrambling across rocks or running along riverbanks in the great outdoors the you want to keep as much debris, grit and gravel out of your Fivefingers. You get a superb barefoot ground connectivity and sensory feedback from the KSO classics 3.5mm Vibram XS TREK rubber outsole compound, The sole is non-marking so fine for indoor use. And for even further grip the sole is what is know as razor-siped so as you naturally flex your feet more grip opens up.
Five Exercises to Strengthen Your Feet
Exercises

Five Exercises to Strengthen Your Feet

If you’re stuck for a little exercise motivation we’ve come up with a simple bodyweight circuit you can do anywhere. This workout is particularly great in your Vibram FiveFingers because not only will it help to strengthen your feet, you’ll need plenty of feedback from all those nerves down there to do the exercises properly. Take a look at the video and we’ve given you a little more information below on each exercise. Five exercises to strengthen your feet There are 5 exercises in total. Try to repeat the whole circuit 5 times. 1. Squats - 5 reps These are great for your posture. You’ll be using your quadriceps (thighs), hamstrings (around the back), glutes (bum), and the muscles in your core. You’ll also be getting a lot of feedback from your feet to help you move properly.While you may find it hard to squat any lower than a right angle, with some practice you may be able to get deeper. Make sure you keep your back straight though and your feet flat on the floor. Also be aware of what’s happening at your knees and feet. If you can see or feel your knees moving closer to each other as you squat your feet will be rolling inwards too. By wearing Vibram FiveFingers (or being barefoot) you will be able to better feel when your feet are moving. Try to keep your feet flat on the floor and push yourself up using the muscles in you bum. 2. Deadlifts on your left leg - 5 reps Bend from the hips rather than your knees (as in the squat). If you feel the exercise primarily in your hamstrings (back of your leg) and your glutes (bum), then you’ll know you’re doing it correctly. This is a tricky exercise for your balance but your big toe is your friend here. Pushing it into the floor will help to keep you balanced and less likely to roll your weight to the outside of your foot. Pressing your big toe into the floor will also help to strengthen the arch of your foot. Be aware that when you do this you are using your big toe instead of rolling your whole foot towards it. 3. Deadlifts on your right leg – 5 reps Balance may be harder on one side than the other. Often right-handed people will have a harder time balancing on their right leg. Take your time and listen to your feet. 4. Twisters – 5 pairs Your arms should be straight with your hands under your shoulders. If they are higher than your shoulders, you may find your bum in the air too. Make sure your posture is straight from your ankles right to the back of your head. Now twist, take one foot off the floor, bend your knee and try to send your leg out to your side. The more flexible you are the straighter you will be able to get your leg. This twist should be coming from your waist, so your core (and in particular the oblique muscles at your sides) will work to support your spine as you move. With practice you’ll be able to do this and keep your supporting foot still, so your ankle doesn’t rotate outwards. Again, by being barefoot or in Vibram FiveFingers, you’ll be able to better feel what’s going on at your feet. This is a great exercise for all those core muscles you use when you run. It does wonders to improve flexibility through your hips too. 5. Jumping on the spot – 30 seconds You’ll need a timer for the last exercise and a metronome (check out your app store, there are loads of free options). 180 beats per minute is an ideal running tempo so set up your metronome and jump for 30 seconds. You’ll only need to take small jumps. Bounce on the balls of your feet but make sure you’re kissing your heels on the floor as you land. If you stay up on your toes for this exercise, your calf muscles may start to complain pretty fast. Try to keep in the same spot too. If you end up drifting forwards or back you may find correcting your posture will help. Rinse and repeat! That’s the workout. When you’ve finished all 5 exercises, go back to number one and start over until you’ve completed 5 rounds. You can take a break in between each set if you find it too hard (no more than 60 seconds though) and you could take it up a notch by increasing the reps for each exercise. Or try adding one rep onto each exercise with each round you do. Some great Vibram, Five Fingers to exercise in The Vibram FiveFingers KSO-Evo or EL-X are both excellent options for this kind of workout. The super thin 3mm outsoles will give you maximum feedback and they are very flexible.