Getting into weight lifting is a fantastic way to improve your health and maintain self-discipline. However, having an understanding of how the body works and reacts to the stress placed on it when lifting is important. You'll soon realise that the feet play one of the most important parts in any lift and that there are a few tips and tricks you can use if you find that your feet are perhaps not as stable as you need. Perhaps your arches are collapsing or you have flat feet. If this is the case, then a sports podiatrist will be able to recommend special strengthening exercises for the feet. In support of this, here are some tips to help you choose the right shoes and prepare your feet and the muscles connecting to your calf in order to get you lifting like a pro. 

Collapsing Arches

If you have flat feet or your arches are collapsing you may find that your knees fall in towards each other. When lifting weights, especially during a deadlift, you want your legs fully aligned to allow you to drive the force into the ground. If your knees are bent because your feet are unstable then pressure can be placed on the outside of the knees and ankle.

To combat this you can get yourself a custom-made insole that is tailored to your feet. Many large running companies will be able to make these in-house using a machine that analyses your feet. The insoles can be customised further for daily wear, training and running etc., and will provide support in all the right places. These combined with dedicated weight lifting shoes will provide a stable base.

Weightlifting shoes are typically flat-soled and in some cases have a wooden wedge in the heel. This provides greater stability for powerlifters and the slight tilt forward helps to better activate the hips and lower back. You should definitely stay away from running trainers when lifting heavy weights as the cushioning will compress and cause instability in the ankle. When people lift they naturally try to grip the floor with their toes, which is why some lifters go barefoot. However, with running trainers, the distance between the foot and the floor is greater, and so when trying to grip with the toes it can cause cramps and wasted energy, further putting pressure on the ankle and outside of the knees.

Contact a sports podiatrist in order to learn more.