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Once you've found the perfect home to train in and purchased the best supplements that are going to allow you to get the maximum results from your workout, the next thing you might start to consider is investing in some good weight lifting shoes.
For those who are working out quite intensely, there are a number of advantages to using weight lifting shoes, many of which you will notice immediately upon stepping into the gym as you go about your regular workout.
Here is what you need to know about weight lifting shoes.
The Nature Of The Force When Weight Lifting:
Just as there is a certain movement pattern that goes on in the body when you're aiming to shoot a basket or sprint across the field, there is also a pattern of movement that occurs when you're executing the various weight lifting exercises you've decided to include in your program.
When you stop to think about it, there is going to be an extremely high amount of force coming down on the body, all of which is supported through the feet. If those feet do not have the proper cushioning and padding they need to handle that force, you will not get the full benefits of the exercise and you may even wind up injured.
The main problem with lifting in a regular running shoe is that these are very padded on the soles, which causes the body to really 'sink' into the shoes whenever you're aiming to lift a heavy weight.
While this may all seem fine to you, it's going to reduce your ability to generate force and press up against the weight, since the padding is already absorbing so much of the tension.
In addition to the reduced ability to generate force, another major issue you have working against you is the fact that since you're so cushioned, you're also more likely to roll over when the weight is overhead.
An ankle roll while doing a heavy barbell shoulder press would be the worst case scenario, so this must be avoided. Since weight lifting shoes will have less of a soft cushioning surface, they will decrease the chances of this happening. The cushioning in running shoes is perfect for when you're doing ongoing repetitive activities such as running, but for the nature of weight lifting, not what you're looking for.
Weight lifting shoes also have a strap that is designed to secure the foot into place to prevent it from moving forwards in the shoe, causing the toes to get jammed into the front.
Finally, you will find that the soles of the shoes are made from rubber, which is ideal for both support as well as traction purposes. It's vital that you feel firmly planted into the ground with your shoes, so if this was not the case and you felt like you were slipping, problems would arise.
What To Look For In A Weight Lifting Shoe:
If you do make the decision to purchase a weight lifting shoe, the next step is making sure you purchase ones that are good for your body and will enable you to lift the maximum amount of weight possible.
The first important thing you must do is make sure the shoe is fitting your body properly. If you're going to invest in the shoes, which typically do run $100 or higher, you must make sure you're going to be comfortable in it for the hour long gym sessions you're doing.
Some people will choose to wear bare feet in their shoes while others will use socks - whatever you choose be sure you are wearing whatever you will wear when you workout as this makes a big difference in the overall feel of the shoe.
You want them to be relatively snug, but not so tight that you can hardly wiggle your toes. If they are too tight you'll end up feeling restricted, but if they're too lose you'll be dealing with extra bulk in the shoe that will slow you down.
After you've figured out your fit, also be sure to look at the support system the shoe provides. As mentioned above, you don't necessarily want 'cushion' support, but firm support that gives you a feeling of being sturdy.
This will especially be important if you do tend to have weak ankles and find they're rolling in or outwards when doing squats. If you are supported, you'll get less ankle motion and should be able to hoist more weight.
Weight Of The Shoe:
Each brand of weight lifting shoes that you look into will have a slightly different weight, so you also need to be sure to assess that. In almost all cases the weight lifting shoe will be heavier than a typical running shoe would be, which is to account for the additional support that's provided.
Despite the heavier weight, the shoes should still not be too heavy as that will restrict your movement and you won't have as effective of a workout.
If you do have some money that you can afford to invest in a good pair of weight lifting shoes it would be well worth it. The difference it can make in your lifting technique and how much weight you are able to significantly lift will be dramatic, especially if you're currently lifting in worn out running shoes.
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