T Nation

Squat Barefoot


I train pretty hard most of the the year, but during the summer months I like to toy around with diffrent things. This year I got a power cage for my cabin, I constructed a platform for it in the wooded area. One day decided to do some back squats barefoot. I noticed that with the same weight I would normally squat for about 6 reps I could go deeper barefooted than I could do with my shoes on.

This doesn't make sense to me since shoes should add ankle stability. Anyone want to tackle this? I'm just curious. By the way I also felt the effect of the squat way more, and have since continued squatting this way at home, I feel like my legs are way more powerful since doing this? Again can anyone explain why?



As to going deeper, angles created by your shoes can be a reason for that.

As to feeling it more, its like doing dumbbell instead of barbell work. You do not have the ankle stability, and so all the stabilizers and other muscles have to work harder. There are plenty of studies that advocate squatting barefoot. The only problem that comes in is grip on the floor. I know some people who use those five finger flatfooted running shoes, or diving boots


I used the Vibram 5 Fingers squatting and deadlifting for a while and really liked it. I always felt more stable and stronger using them. I wouldn't have stopped except my gym passed a rule specifically banning them for "safety reasons" which was a little irritating since I was the only one using them.


Going barefoot fires up more nerves and stabilisers


A lot of people would argue that barefoot is more stable than tennis shoes or sneakers since the gelled cushioning in them tends to move about....I personally can't stand to squat barefoot though, and injured my lower back the only time I did it (though i acknolwedge the two aren't NECESSARILY correlated)....I do always pull barefoot though


I like to warm up barefoot when squatting, but I always use shoes past 80%. I too always pull barefoot.


I DL in my socks or barefoot, always squatting shoes with elevated heel for squats. Personal preference I'd say.

But if you look at most strong lifters, you won't see many of them lift without shoues.


I used to get cramps in my feet during intense exercise. I started wearing what I call water shoes or beach shoes - I guess what LSUPOWERDC called diving boots but they are low-cut. These have a very thin rubber sole that will grip the floor (somewhat) and are loose enough to allow my toes to splay-out to barefoot width. They make the floor feel like part of my feet. Bottomline, my feet and ankles have gotten stronger - the muscles in my feet are activated just like being barefoot. This has stopped almost all of the cramping I experienced in my feet. My squats and deadlifts feel solid and, yes, I think I can squat deeper with greater ease.


I almost always squat and deadlift barefoot. I bought a pair of Chuck Taylors, but they're too narrow. My "running" shoes are way too "cushionny" for skwatts. I find that I can more effectively "spread the floor" without shoes on. Personnal preference I guess.


The floor I have is very grippy so I feel realy stable from that prespective. I just completed a full workout barefoot, Deadlift, Squat, Bench, Chin Ups. I really like deadlifting barefoot too. I had my wife watch me squat and I also started to pay more attnetion to how my feet felt during the squat. The consensus was that I was able to contract my toes and use them to help me stabilize and push the weight back up more easily than with shoes which I think numb that ability to an extent. Sorry about your Back VT, thanks for the responses guys.


You can't go barefoot in competition, so I just don't do it.. even if it feels really really good to.


I squat and dl in socks, I feel much more stable and powerful, have been doing it this way for a long time.


up until recently i was squatting barefoot after my first couple of warm-up sets, but that has to change since I have my first competition coming up quick. I bought some chucks and have been practicing in those. They feel pretty good, but I can notice that my foot feels a bit narrower too


Well, why not ask Pablo? He's been squatting barefott for 41 days straight now. Beating my own record with 10 days.