Lifting Shoe- Yah or Nah
I can't help but notice the increase in lifting shoes at the box lately. I pondered as to why this would be? This is the list that I have compiled
1) All the cool kids are doing it!
2) These shoes are fly!!! If only they were J's.
3) It lets me get into a deep squat.
Although reasons 1 and 2 are very possible and logical explanations for this lifting shoe pandemic, I think reason number 3 is the most important. Please don't get me wrong, I like lifting shoes. They provide great stability and grip for athletes that Olympic Lift as their main sport. You always want to mirror/reproduce your competing environment in your training. And if you're only training to become an Olympic lifter than by all means, use those lifting shoes like they are going out of style! But for any other athlete I would suggest otherwise. Lifting shoes have a high heel lift. This lift creates increased plantar flexion in your ankle joint. This travels up your kinetic chain and increases anterior pelvic tilt and lumbar lordosis. This allows your center of gravity to move forward and creates increased quad activation. With these kinematic changes, it becomes much easier to do a deep squat. So what's the problem Dr. Wu?! It seems pretty awesome to me!
Wrong, these bio mechanical changes alter the low back and knee moment arms, increasing unneeded force in those areas. With increased force + time + volume, this = to inevitable injury. Wearing lifting shoes while you train is no better than wearing heels. The real solution is to work on your ankle mobility until you can get down into a squat without lifting your heels. I promise you that all of the best Olympic lifters can do this with ease! My rule of thumb is that if you can't squat without your lifting shoes, than you CAN'T SQUAT!!! Squatting is a natural movement that we learn when we are babies. So let's get out there and start squatting barefoot!!!