Walk Before You Can Run | Learn | VIVOBAREFOOT UK

Walk before you can run

Enable your body and brain to fulfil their evolutionary role: to walk and run efficiently, on demand and without injury, throughout your lifetime.

To achieve this requires a gradual transition as, unless you were brought up in an unshod, chair-free environment, you are likely to be lacking in certain physiological qualities and biomotor skills for natural human movement.

Taking a few steps back before you eventually leap ahead will be hugely beneficial in the long run. Everyone will adapt at different rates so there is no set time limit to each motorskill milestone. Simply perfect each one before moving onto the next and ensure you give your anatomy time to recover and adapt.


Learn the skill of standing

If you are sitting down, right now, then stand up and take off your shoes. Wiggle your toes, rock onto your heels then the ball of your feet and back again. Ensure that the Great Toe (big toe) is acting as your anchor and engaged with the ground. Your body weight should be distributed  in between your 1st and 2nd metatarsals (knuckles). Stand upright and look into the horizon, take a few deep breaths. How does it feel? Pretty incredible pieces of equipment, the feet, aren’t they?

Standing: a simple, static, yet fundamental skill should be perfected before any dynamic movement occurs. Posture alignment by correct weight distribution and proper use of the feet is essential.



1. Stand upright, align your posture and hold your hands by your sides and set your gaze on the horizon.2. Ensure the heel, ball and big toe are engaged with the ground.3. Ensure your weight is distributed evenly.

Learn the skill of walking

Walking around barefoot will reconnect your brain with the sensory information coming from the soles of your feet.  You need to feel relaxed and confident walking barefoot across a variety of surfaces, both natural (grass, mud and sand) and man-made (concrete and tarmac) - your movement across these terrains will become safer, confident and more efficient as your feet and your brain begin to communicate effectively about the sensory information available.

Learn how to walk

Watch the video
1. Weight moves from heel to big toe with a smooth heel stroke2. Don't look down and use short strides for optimum alignment3. Relaxed, balanced and symmetrical rhythm

Squatters Rights

The squat is a very therapeutic position for the human body, especially for barefoot runners as it develops the skill of maintaining the body’s centre of mass over the natural balance point of the body (ball of foot) whilst building strength and range of movement in the ankles, knees, hips and spine. These attributes combined enable the barefoot runner to develop the fundamental movement skill of segmental alignment which is more commonly known as posture.

Frequent and proper squatting will enhance your balance, build strength in parts of the body needed for a correct barefoot running style and improve flexibility in ankles, knees, hips and spine, helping you stretch important tendons, muscles and ligaments. Balance, strength and flexibility all contribute to the improvement of posture.

Learn how to squat

Watch the video
1. A squat should position your centre of mass over the ball of your foot2. A correct squat won't come easily but it will build strength in necessary parts of the body3. The squat will improve the range of movement in your ankles, knees, hips and spine

Jump Around

Jumping is essential to maintain the balance, flexibility and posture developed walking and squatting and increases dynamic strength & elasticity in the running anatomy.  The elastic recoil of tendons is an important energy saving mechanism in running and a lack of co-ordination of the ‘stretch-shorten’ cycle is associated with injury.  Elastic recoil and the ‘stretch-shorten’ cycle is developed in movement via the skill of rhythm.

Focus on using the balls of your feet, but don't use your tiptoes. Don't try to jump too high; instead, focus on small and light bounces with a rhythm at which the jumping feels most efficient and relaxed. Eventually, try to reach a rhythm of 180 bpm - the optimum cadence to harness the elastic recoil of the body.

Learn how to jump

Watch the video
1. Jump on the spot repeatedly times without looking down - you should remain on the same spot2. Jump on one leg, after all running is essentially a series of one-legged jumps! 3. Develop your abilities by introducing a weighted bar to one-legged jumps or use a jumping rope


 Learn how to run

Learn the skill of running

Mastered the skill of standing, walking, squatting and jumping? And built up the appropriate strength?

Then you're ready to begin to learn the skill of running.

Learn more

Download our eBook


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