Training to become an amateur weightlifter is a great goal to have if working on your body composition is something that you really want to do. However as any sports podiatrist will attest to, when lifting heavy weights, having a stable base will improve your posture and minimise the risk of injuries, not just to the feet but the knees and back as well. Whilst there are many pieces of equipment that can help with weightlifting, none are more important than good-quality training shoes. This guide will offer up a couple of suggestions that will stabilise your base and get you training effectively and safely.
The Right Stuff
Having good training shoes is a must in weightlifting. Many people are happy to go ahead with running trainers, which for the beginner lifter might be fine. However, when lifting, especially powerlifting, deadlifts, snatches, etc., you need to build force from the feet, pushing into the ground in order to explode with force upwards. Running trainers provide lots of cushioning which is great for reducing impact injuries, but with weightlifting, you need good contact with the floor which is why many people enjoy lifting without shoes. A good pair of shoes will be flat with some subtle grip on the sole, will lace up tight and will allow you to feel like you can grip the floor with your feet. When lifting, you'll often need to push through the heels in order to drive upwards. With running trainers, you run the risk of destabilizing and losing energy whilst your feet shake which can result in injury. Some professional-level powerlifting shoes actually have wood embedded in the heel, forming a slight decline towards the toes. Positioning the feet like this helps with hip alignment and encourages the use of the heel which in turn reduces the likelihood of the patella being placed under unnecessary stress.
Deep Is Good
If you do find that your feet are suffering after training and feel tight and cramped, then utilise a tennis ball or a massage ball to relieve tension. If wearing incorrect shoes like running shoes, you may find that your feet overexert themselves trying to grip the floor. Place the ball on the ground and apply pressure. Roll the ball around and use it to provide deep-tissue massage after training. Having looser muscles here will stop you from getting calf pain and even lower back pain as muscles are like a chain reaction when one becomes tight the whole lot of them do.
Learn more by reaching out to a sports podiatrist.