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Gazzetta Medica Italiana - Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2022 April;181(4):191-8

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.20.04356-9

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Effects of a 12-week barefoot exercise training on foot muscle functions and arch height

Keiji KOYAMA

1 Graduate School of Human Health Sciences, Toin University of Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan



BACKGROUND: There have been no studies on the effect of barefoot exercise training on foot functions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a 12-week barefoot exercise training on muscle strength, muscle thickness and arch height in the foot.
METHODS: Fourteen young, healthy, habitually shod subjects (men, 11; women, 3; age, 20.8±1.1 years; height, 168.0±5.5 cm; body mass, 61.2±9.0 kg) performed barefoot exercise training 3 times weekly over the course of 12-week. The barefoot exercise training consisted of agility, balance ball and foot and ankle muscle strength exercises. Toe flexor strength, ankle plantar flexor strength, foot arch height and muscle thickness of the flexor digitorum brevis, quadratus plantae, flexor hallucis brevis and abductor hallucis were measured before and after 12-week barefoot exercise training.
RESULTS: After 12-week barefoot exercise training, the variables of toe flexor and ankle plantar flexor muscle strength as well as the muscle thickness of flexor digitorum brevis, quadratus plantae, flexor hallucis brevis and total muscle thickness were significantly increased, while arch height was not changed. No significant correlations between relative changes in toe flexor strength after 12-week barefoot exercise training and relative changes in muscle thickness variables after 12-week barefoot exercise training were found.
CONCLUSIONS: Twelve-week barefoot exercise training improved the force-generating capacity of toe flexor muscles.


KEY WORDS: Toes; Muscles; Ultrasonography

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