Barefoot Strong: Unlock the Secrets to Movement Longevity.

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Fitness, Podcast

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

As one of the fastest growing areas within medicine, the anti-aging business is now a $122 billion dollar industry with researchers dedicating their careers to finding the fountain of youth. Whether it be copper peptides or acai supplements, most of the anti-aging industry focuses on limited aspects of eternal youth and vitality.

But my guest on today's podcast believes it is time to apply the latest research into a new area of anti-aging medicine she calls “movement longevity”. In her new book Barefoot Strong: Unlock the Secrets to Movement Longevity, Podiatrist & Human Movement Specialist Dr. Emily Splichal explores the science behind barefoot training and how this often overlooked area of health and fitness is actually the secret to youthful movement.

As an internationally-renown educator on barefoot training, Dr. Emily has traveled the world exploring the concept of movement efficiency from the ground up. Through barefoot science, fascial fitness and neuromuscular conditioning, she will show you how to survive the unnatural conditions of today’s shod society and optimize your movement patterns. From barefoot activation exercises to vitamin supplements to protect your peripheral nerves, Barefoot Strong is a go-to guide to ensure years of efficient movement – one step at a time.

As a Podiatrist, Human Movement Specialist and Global Leader in Barefoot Science and Rehabilitation, Dr. Splichal has developed a keen eye for movement dysfunction and neuromuscular control during gait. Functional and Regenerative Medicine and the role of anti-aging science as it relates to movement longevity is where Dr. Splichal's passion is focused and has led to her notoriety within Podiatry.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-What Emily means by the term “movement longevity”…10:15

-How do you determine your foot type and why is that important…13:00

-What a plantar receptor is and why you should care about it…21:30

-What a pre-activation response is, and its fascinating relationship to injuries in Cirque de Soleil dancers…30:30

-How to set up your own foot core activation cascade…38:00

-The dangers of modafinil (Provigil), Adderal and microdosing…49:00

-Why Emily is not a fan of Kegel exercises…53:15

-How you can release the hips and why that is important for your feet…59:30

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

The Alchemist's Kitchen in New York City

Book: Barefoot Strong: Unlock the Secrets to Movement Longevity

The Naboso Mat and Insoles Code: BEN to save 15%

Book: Anatomy Trains by Thomas Myers

The Qualia nootropic Ben takes

Four Sigmatic Lion's Mane

Powerplate

Jumpsport mini trampoline

-Video: Short Foot Activation

-Video: Pelvic Floor / Core Activation

Training Transversus Abdominis by Diane Lee

Episode Sponsors

Movement Watches “Minimalist Look, Revolutionary Price”  

Four Sigmatic

Kion Lean

-Ben's Christian Gratitude Journal

Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Dr. Emily or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question


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18 thoughts on “Barefoot Strong: Unlock the Secrets to Movement Longevity.

  1. Michael Lacey says:

    Hi – this episode was excellent. I am working through Dr. Splichal’s Barefoot Strong book. I have developed chronic Achilles tendonitis. I confirmed w/ an ortho doc that it isn’t ruptured but the swelling and tough knob hasn’t been improving much over the last weeks/ months. Are there specific foot exercises that could also help resolve this issue? I have been focused on the tendon and calf muscles per doc rather than feet per se?

  2. Ian says:

    Hello Ben and Emily,

    Thank you for an incredibly informative podcast. I am however a little confused. I understand the idea of isometric engagement of the pelvic floor, a drawing up action, but I’m unsure of how the kegel differs and why you don’t recommend it. I watched your core activation video and in the instructions you said to imagine you are doing a kegel, if you are familar with it.

    I also researched briefly of how to do a kegel and the explanations I came across seemed to be similar to that drawing up action to which you recommend to strive for. I’ve heard that kegels are counter productive as they just generate more tightness in the pelvic floor and therefore lead to more weakness.

    Apologies if I come across as picky, just hoping that you can help me clarify the difference between kegel engagement and isomeric pelvic floor engagement. Thanking you in advance :)

    1. The focus of optimal pelvic floor engagement for stability or power is one that is integrated. This means both the anterior and posterior pelvic floor must be engaged at the same time and in a manner that is drawing together and lifting.

      When we do just a kegel that is isolated and not lifting. I use kegels as a way to increase identification of the different areas of the pelvic floor not as the actual activation

      I hope this helps!

  3. Nile says:

    Dr, E speaks about A little bit about pancakes feet. I have serious flat feet as well as bunions to go along with that. So you Ben or Dr. E have any suggestion how to stop the grow of bunions andthe pain created by them.

    I am fairly athletic and know my body pretty well, but could use some help with managing my foot Health.

    Thanks

    Nile

    1. Hello Nile – Dr Emily here!

      You cannot reverse bunions but you can slow their progression. I’d suggest considering the following:
      1. Foot strengthening exercises such as what’s mentioned above
      2. Possible insoles (either Naboso or others) to bring feedback to the foot
      3. Use Correct Toes or a Bunion Bootie
      4. Strengthen your glutes, core and hips

      Again this cannot reverse the bunion but it’s a good way to bring strength back to your foundation (foot!)

  4. Ted Bennet says:

    Great show…very useful.

    Could this posture issue effective the vestibular system? I have chronic dizziness, like feeling sea sick, pretty much all day everyday. My right knee hurts after 3-ish mile of walking, more noticeable after a hike or walk on purposefully steep incline.

    Thank you for a response!

    Happy trails, Ted.

    1. Hi Ted. Your visual, vestibular and proprioceptive systems are all linked which means you can enhance the others to hopefully bring balance to the 3rd. There is a concept called eye movement exercises which I recently spoke about on my YouTube Channel (linked above with the short foot exercise) which you can explore! There are sensory answers to vestibular and joint issues. I hope this helps!

  5. Ed Arias says:

    Really enjoyed the podcast with Dr. Emily. Particularly important to me since I have recently started walking to work as a means to get more daily activity. 61yo male (5’9″ 185lbs) with knee OA doesn’t allow me to run (just yet) but do a lot of walking. Just purchased your Naboso insoles … proprioreceptive stimulation and therein deficiencies wearing poor shoes makes perfect sense. I need to get new walking shoes for my daily (3.5mile each way) walk to work and back … I need some direction on the best shoes I can get for this … and to stick your insoles into ;) Thanks so much Ben and Emily, Ed.

    1. Hi Ed…..Dr Emily here!

      Thanks for listening to the Podcast and purchasing the Naboso Insoles. The best feedback we get from customers is when they wear the insoles in more minimal footwear such as that of Vivobarefoot, Xero Shoes, Altra etc. Since you have knee OA the Naboso Insoles will bring the sensory awareness needed to control the forces encountered during walking!

      You can find other great ways to strengthen your feet by the YouTube videos linked above. Short foot, foot to core single leg training. I hope this helps!

  6. Robert says:

    You are only as old as you move.

  7. Leanne Flama says:

    Thanks for this podcast, Ben! I have pretty pronounced bunions on both feet, and I believe consequently, what Dr. Emily describes as a “rigid” foot type. I tend to walk more on the outsides of my feet. My arch is also quite low. Running shoe stores always recommend a very cushioned shoe with orthodic inserts, so that’s what I usually wear. I struggle A LOT with balance and have been working hard to strengthen my core in an effort to improve my balance. My question is what type of shoes does Dr. Emily recommend for strength training and dynamic movement work for someone with bunions?

    1. Hi Leanne – Dr Emily here! If you have bunions and “low arches” I”m actually suspecting that you have a hypermobile / unstable foot. This is the foot type this often recommended to use orthotics and supportive footwear.

      However, if you want you can start to build foot strength through short foot exercise – (video is linked above), barefoot training and glute strengthening. You can also learn more on these exercises on my YouTube Channel (also linked above).

      You may want to look into the Naboso Insoles to provide extra sensory stimulation to improve your balance! I hope this helps – Dr Splichal

  8. Wonderful knowledge in this one,definitely an episode to share and repeat.Thank you both. Im wondering What advice/protocols would be most efficacious for longevity and optimization of the foot for martial artists having

    heavy repeated impact of the foot/in step/shin. Recovery,mobility,strength,anything you guys can spare on this. PS BAREFOOT STRONG AND BECOMING SUPERHUMAN ARE ON THE WAY!! Stoked for some kion coffee as well ☕

    1. Hello Haze…..Dr Emily here!

      The tips I recommended on this Podcast and in my Barefoot Strong Book include:

      – Daily foot recovery by standing on a golf ball or lacrosse ball (5 min morning & evening)
      – Daily barefoot stimulation in the form of earthing, short foot, Pilates etc.
      – Daily use of smart footwear such as minimal shoes or Naboso Insoles
      – Weekly foot focused strengthening such as short foot, Pilates, yoga, barefoot running etc.

      You can also learn more on my blog – www.barefootstrongblog.com Enjoy!

      1. Haze says:

        Excellent thank you. Is there a chance that every other day would be more effective? I’ve heard of some fighters. Namely kyle Kingsbury having issues from daily foot work.

  9. Ken Windjack says:

    Love your content and podcasts. I would like to see Dr David Ohare interviewed in breathwork, stress and balancing the autonomic nervous system

  10. Penny North says:

    My question for Dr Emily is if you do have pronating feet, should we be trying to neutralize that through exercises? Will it change? Is it possible? If that’s natural should we be messing with it?

    1. Hi Penny – Dr Emily here!

      How much pronation do you have? Yes pronation is a natural movement of the foot but the key word would be “controlled” pronation is natural. If you over-pronate to the point that it creates excessive stress to the knees, hips and lower back that is not good.

      Research has shown that strengthening the glutes and foot intrinsics can reduce and control over-pronation on an average of 2 – 3 degress – which is the SAME correction that most orthotics provide. This means that in mild over-pronation I always turn to foot strengthening vs. orthotics.

      I hope this helps to clarify the above – feel free to reach out if you have additional questions!

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