Monday, February 12, 2018

Dr. Emily Splichal's Barefoot Strong: Unlock the Secrets to Movement Longevity: A Book Review

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I first heard about Barefoot Strong by Dr. Emily Splichal on one of Ben Greenfield’s podcasts. As a coach, runner, and reader, I picked up the text on order to explore her thoughts. Like many exercise books I have read in recent years, Splichal advocated for training sans shoes. She pushes for grounding the feet, for learning how to move naturally, and recognizes the drawbacks of training in orthotics. It is not that she is against shoes, but that she recognizes the need for proprioception, for members of the populace to train their feet, and also details the connection between nutrition and injury, specifically when it comes to the degradation and formation of collagen.

Beyond the general health discussions, Splichal digs into various techniques to explore how we stand, how we walk, and then work to first break up adhesions in our feet and legs and then use this time to strengthen our legs in order to restore both strength and balance to our lives. Such choices should improve on maladies ranging from plantar fasciitis to shin splints, many of which come from the combination of muscle adhesions a lack of both foot/leg strength and proprioception.

While the text does contain a few typos, Splichal packs a lot of information and exercise into the 100 odd pages, warranting a steady, quick read.

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