BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a 6-week training program of simulated barefoot running (SBR) on running kinetics in habitually shod (wearing shoes) female recreational runners.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Twelve female runners age 25.7±3.4 years gradually increased running distance in Vibram FiveFingers minimal shoes over a 6-week period. The kinetic analysis of treadmill running at 10 Km/h was performed pre- and post-intervention in shod running, non-habituated SBR, and habituated SBR conditions. Spatiotemporal parameters, ground reaction force components, and electromyography (EMG) were measured in all conditions.
RESULTS: Post-intervention data indicated a significant decrease across time in the habituation SBR for EMG activity of the tibialis anterior (TA) in the pre-activation and absorptive phase of running (PCONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study indicate that changes in motor patterns in previously habitually shod runners are possible and can be accomplished within 6 weeks. Non-habituation SBR did not show a significant neuromuscular adaptation in the EMG activity of TA and GAS as manifested after 6 weeks of habituated SBR.
Khowailed, I. A., Petrofsky, J. S., Lohman, E., & Daher, N. (2015). Six weeks habituation of simulated barefoot running induces neuromuscular adaptations and changes in foot strike patterns in female runners. Medical Science Monitor, 21, 2021-2030.