It seems a little insane how much the correct pair of shoes can change your workout, but if anyone has taught us that a pair of shoes can flip your entire situation over completely it’s Cinderella.
According to a study from the American College of Sports Medicine, 85% of individuals are using the incorrect shoes when they go out on a run. For the easiest way to avoid injuries and help boost your workouts, why not try getting professionally fitted for your shoes?
(Make sure you read to the end for a special gym and running shoes discount!)
The Importance of Wearing Proper Shoes
Let’s start off with something a little simpler, walking shoes compared with running shoes. It turns out that by wearing the incorrect shoes for your run, you could end up with extremely serious injuries.
The reason behind this is that when you walk, the weight is far better spread out on your feet than when you run. This is because your weight is more concentrated on your heels and they need to be able to absorb two to three times of your total body weight.
Walking shoes are designed to be more flexible, allowing for greater comfort during your evening walkabouts. However, running shoes are a lot sturdier and are designed to take much more pressure, thereby aiding in the protection against knee injuries.
These include knee dislocations, which I have experienced, or ankle tears, tears in your muscles or tendons, and even injuries to the bones themselves.
Which Shoes Should You Use and When?
With so many benefits to choosing the correct shoe, you may be wondering if you need a specific shoe for your CrossFit workouts as well. The answer to that is yes, you do.
When engaging in complex moves that require a lot of balance, CrossFit-specific shoes will aid in helping you to maintain your form. They will also help ensure that you have a higher level of protection when performing the workout and thereby reduce the risk of injury.
They provide the necessary support to your body, particularly to your joints such as your knees and ankles during your workouts, which is essential when ensuring the longevity of your health and safety against injury.
They are built to endure many, many CrossFit workouts whereas your average walking or running shoe may give out underneath the pressure and they are therefore a better investment of your time and money.
Added Benefits of Wearing Proper Shoes
A further benefit of wearing the correct shoes for the correct activity is that you will then be guaranteed to utilise your energy potential better thereby having more effective, efficient, and longer workouts with greater performance.
You can do that by wearing CrossFit shoes for CrossFit or running shoes for running workouts. A further benefit to wearing CrossFit shoes for working out or weightlifting is that they are more beneficial to supporting you than walking or running shoes.
Now you may be wondering what the main benefits of running shoes are, especially stacked against the comparative advantages of CrossFit shoes. Running shoes, especially those with soft mid soles, have an extra ability to protect you against the varied surfaces which you run upon.
The softer the midsole of your shoe is, the better cushioning you will have against the varied surfaces you are exposed to. However, the softest ones wear out within a few months.
Foot Injuries From Wearing Improper Shoes
If you are worried about knee injuries, having a proper running shoe is essential as overpronation or the act of turning your foot inside as you run increases the likelihood of your knee dislocation. Other problems linked to turning in of your foot are shin splints, foot ailments such as bunions, and plantar fasciitis.
The other problem with foot placement, is when you push your foot too far outward as you run, known as supination this accentuates stress upon on your joints, muscles and tendons.
Furthermore, running with this form increases the likelihood of knee injury. Apart from that, running with the correct running shoes will also provide greater grip against a variety of surfaces and aid with protection against the various elements.
What About Fashion?
Finally, you may find yourself wondering about something that only really runs across your mind once you enter the fitness apparel store or surf for options online - shoe style.
Well, you will be more than happy to know that both running shoes and CrossFit shoes are made for the style conscious gym-goers in mind. They usually need something that is both functional and gorgeous enough to motivate them to want to get into the gym.
If you’re wondering what the best rated CrossFit shoes are, here are some of the best. Nike Romaleo 3 and New Balance Men MX409V3 Cross Trainers are great options if you are hoping to get the most investment per dollar spent. If, however, you are hoping to make a long term investment and are looking to spend a little more, then there is the Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0 or the 7.0.
Moving on here are some great running shoes for your consideration, one on the lower end of the price spectrum is the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3, or the Hoka One One Challenger ATR3 and for the fashionable out there how about the Brooks Ravenna 8 or perhaps Reebok OSR Harmony Road.
Barefoot running and training is a growing trend as it promises to prevent injury and strengthen muscles that are usually neglected. By training in barefoot shoes, your feet are closer to the ground and therefore you gain a slight power advantage in your lifts.
Barefoot shoes can be great for CrossFit as they provide a stable base and you will be able to feel the floor beneath your feet which is great for stability in heavy lifts. Not only this, they're very versatile so you can then do rope climbs in your barefoot shoes, transition to a quick run, and then transition to skipping or jumping.
Enjoy an exclusive discount on Sundried's men's and women's barefoot shoes using code KICKS for a huge 50% off and take your CrossFit training to the next level.
Now, For the Workout
You may be wondering which type of workout is best for you, what type of physical exercise will motivate you and engage you, what activity best suits your unique preferences and personality, well there is a test for that.
You do not have to limit yourself to one type of activity or simply the sports or methods of training that everyone around you is doing. As an individual, you can benefit from trying something different.
Who knows CrossFit might just be the best thing ever for you? Therefore, when planning on beginning an undertaking such as CrossFit, make sure to invest in the correct tools and clothing for that particular fitness niche to protect yourself during the activity and to have the most effective workout with the greatest amount of energy conservation as possible. Therefore, I humbly decree it is time to go shoe shopping! I know I can’t wait.
About the author: Sarah writes for Kicks Choice. She is passionate about workout activities and she puts great importance on maintaining leg and foot health as well.
Staying fit and active in winter takes a lot of motivation and it can be easy to succumb to hibernation mode and comfort food. Try this heart-pumping winter metcon workout to keep your fitness up this festive period.
Related: What Is A Metcon Workout?
Winter Metcon Workout
EMOM: Every Minute On the Minute | 10 minutes total |
- 5 burpees
- 15 kettlebell swings (men use 16kg, women use 10kg)
- 5 inch worms
- 10 press ups
- 10 jumping squats
- 20 mountain climbers
- 10 push press (men use 10kg medicine ball, women use 5kg)
- 20 stiff legged deadlifts (men use 12kg dumbbells, women use 8kg)
- 10 jumping lunges
- 10 star jumps
Rest for 5 minutes
AMRAP: As Many Reps As Possible | 5 minutes total |
- Jumping lunges – 60 seconds
- Clean and press – 90 seconds – 50% of your 1RM
- Deadlifts – 90 seconds – 70% of your 1RM
- Overhead press – 60 seconds –50% of your 1RM
CrossFit is a type of training created by Greg Glassman in 2000 and seeks to find the fittest man and woman on earth. But what is it? How does it work?
What is Crossfit?
CrossFit is a combination of many different training principals including gymnastics, powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, kettlebells, athletics, swimming, plyometrics and advanced conditioning. It's a notoriously tough workout and is certainly not for the faint-hearted! CrossFit sessions are divided into WODs which stands for Workout of the Day. A workout can be made up of any number of different exercises and a WOD will be posted online each week for CrossFitters around the world to follow. People will then post their results online and compare with each other.
CrossFit Terms Explained
AMRAP: As Many Rounds As Possible
ATG: Ass To Grass (used to describe the depth hit in a squat)
CFWU: Crossfit Warm Up
EMOM: Every Minute On the Minute
GTG: Greasing The Groove (doing multiple sets of an exercise throughout the day, but not to failure)
HSPU: Handstand Push-Up
MetCon: A metabolic conditioning workout. Usually with lighter weights at a higher intensity and speed.
Pood: A weight measurement used by the Russians for kettlebells. 1 pood =16 kg/35 lbs; 1.5 pood = 24 kg/53 lbs; 2 pood = 32 kg/71 lbs etc.
PR: Personal Record
Rx’d: As prescribed; as written. Used to describe a WOD completed without any adjustments and with the set weights.
T2B: Toes to bar.
CrossFit Hero Workouts
There is a set of WODs in CrossFit which are named after members of the US armed forces who died during combat. These are notoriously tough workouts and are completed by US CrossFitters on Memorial Weekend.
Michael Patrick "Murph" Murphy was a United States Navy Seal officer who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005.
1 mile Run
1 mile Run
Named after Timothy Davis of the US Air Force who died in combat in 2009.
9 hang power cleans
6 push jerks
The CrossFit Games
The CrossFit Games is the biggest event on a CrossFitter's calendar and promises to find the “fittest on the earth”. There are several qualifying stages for this event.
CrossFit Open is the first qualifying event, whereby each week a new WOD is released and competitors will post their scores online. There is the choice of Rx'd workouts or scaled workouts which are made slightly easier in order to be more accessible.
The best athletes in the Open will qualify for Regionals which is a live, three-day competition held over three weekends in May each year. The top athletes from the Regionals then qualify for the games in July or August.
Throughout the games, athletes don't know which WODs are going to be announced, so they must train hard in every discipline and make sure that their weakest exercise is just as good as their strongest.
The CrossFit Games is a huge spectacle and attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators each year. They are sponsored by Reebok and the prize money for the winning man and woman is $750,000! CrossFit is a huge sport in the US but is slowly spreading around the world, with 3 of the most elite female athletes being from Iceland. There are many CrossFit gyms (or 'boxes' as they are called) popping up throughout the UK.
The Crossfit Open is the first stage of qualifying for The Crossfit Games. To learn more about the basics of Crossfit and to understand the jargon used in this article, read our article on Crossfit here.
The Crossfit Open workout 16.1 is the first workout of the 2016 open and it's not for the faint hearted.
20 minutes AMRAP
- 25-ft. overhead walking lunge (5ft per rep)
- 8 burpees
- 25-ft. overhead walking lunge
- 8 chest-to-bar pull-ups
Men lunge 95 lbs (42.5kg), Women lunge 65 lbs (30kg)
Emily Abbott, who took 8th place last year, completed a mighty 290 reps in this WOD!
We spoke to our personal trainers competing in this year's games to see what they made of this year's first challenge.
Personal trainer Liam Scott, 26, from Crossfit Southeast Witham, has been training 6 times a week, rotating strength, skill and endurance as well as completing WODs and previous open workouts in preparation for this year's challenge. Liam gave himself a trial run competing in The Icon Online Championship last month, where he took 34th place. Prior to the games, he told us, “I’m excited for the open to get started and see what crazy stuff is in store for us over the next 5 weeks, preparations have been going well!”
“The moment I saw 16.1, I knew it would be a great test. Overhead walking lunges are a rather difficult exercise and with 42.5kg overhead, let’s just say it’s not going to get any easier. I watched Emily Abbott do the workout live via the Crossfit website which got me more excited” he said.
There were 10 other athletes competing from Liam’s box, which created a great atmosphere with all the competitors spurring each other on.
“When I noticed that the other guys were scaling and using 30kg front rack lunges and only getting 6 rounds it made me more nervous about my turn, but on the beeps I started with my power snatch to get the 42.5kg above my head and the first 25ft walking lunges began. They were definitely the hardest part of the workout, but once I’d done 2 rounds I started to relax a lot more, like everything I’d been working towards was starting to come together.”
Liam completed a whopping 205 reps, his legs were cramping and he even had to go outside in fear of being sick, but he didn’t give in. When we asked how he felt the rest of the day, he joked "it wasn’t too pleasant either”.
In true macho competitor style, Liam was chuffed to have beaten his best friend and coach's score. He told us he is “confident for the rest of the open” and is currently sitting around 600th in England.
Our female athlete Beth, 42, is a Personal Trainer and a great lover of the outdoors. She has been Crossfit training for two years but this was the first open which she completed without scaling the workouts. At just over 5ft, Beth has well and truly proved herself small and mighty.
She told us, “16.1 was a good workout for me. My first RX! The overhead lunges were not a problem nor the burpees. I have only just started being able to do chest-to-bar pull ups so these were the real challenge as the rounds progressed.” Despite having to go down to singles there was no stopping Beth and she gave it her all until the very last rep.
“Overhead lunges are a challenging move for the shoulders and core primarily more than the legs, well in my case anyway. It was good to see them included.”
“I never push myself over the edge...I'm too old now and it takes too long to recover” she joked. When we asked her about her aches, she rather modestly told us they “weren't too bad”. Clearly, age is just a number because Beth could outperform women half her age and twice her height with her inspirational performance.
Crossfit 16.1 has no age limit, whether you're 26 or 42, what the Crossfit open shows is that if you’re prepared to work, it pays off. The diversity of entrants and spontaneity of the workouts are what makes the open so exciting.
If you want to try Crossfit yourself but are intimidated by the challenge why not scale down the workout and give it a try next time you're at the gym, without the pressure of competing? It's a great workout and is really good fun, as well as being very rewarding.
We take an in-depth look at the MetCon workout, a firm favourite of CrossFitters and something that could be the answer to your fitness prayers.
What does MetCon stand for?
MetCon stands for Metabolic Conditioning. It is a type of workout that will exert your cardiovascular system (getting you out of breath) and will also get your heart rate up, increasing your overall level of fitness.
Conditioning is a term that includes building muscle as well as increasing fitness. It is a very high intensity form of training and differs from low intensity steady state (LISS) cardio such as long runs and bike rides. It continually shocks your system and forces your body to change and adapt, therefore achieving excellent results.
The metabolic part refers to how a MetCon workout will affect your metabolism. Not only will you burn a ton of calories during your session, a MetCon will rev up your metabolism and have you burning fat for hours after your finish.
Types of MetCon workout
There are many types of MetCon workout, both with equipment and without, and you can do a number of different activities. From swimming to sprinting to lifting weights, being able to mix up your MetCon workouts and be creative can really keep you motivated and means you're not stuck doing the same workout day in day out.
Training for time
A popular type of MetCon workout is one that is done for time. In this type of session, you will complete a set number of reps or rounds and see how long it takes you. This is a fantastic way of monitoring your progress as you can go back and do the same MetCon again and again, trying to beat your previous time. Another benefit of this type of workout is that you can compare your time to someone else's, therefore creating a sense of competition and increasing your motivation.
Training for reps
On the flipside, another style of workout is one that is done for reps. You might be given a specific exercise with a set number of reps and have to challenge how heavy you can go. For example, 5 sets of 3 reps on front squats. You could complete the rounds and see how heavy you can go.
This popular CrossFit acronym stands for Every Minute On the Minute. It is a great way of keeping the workout interesting and keeping you focused. You will complete a specific number of reps on either one or a series of exercises every minute on the minute, meaning that the quicker you get the exercises done, the more rest you will have in between.
For example, 10 rounds of 5 burpees. If it takes you 30 seconds to complete the burpees, you'd have 30 seconds of rest before the next set. If it takes you 55 seconds, you'd only have 5 seconds of rest!
AMRAP stands for As Many Reps As Possible. The 'R' can also stand for Rounds. In this instance, you will complete as many reps as you can in a given time. This is another way to challenge yourself as you can try to beat your previous record each time you do the workout.
Example MetCon Workouts
This is an example of an EMOM workout:
8 squat clean thrusters
8 chin ups
8 push ups with renegade row
16 box jumps
16 kettlebell swings
Complete 6 rounds.
(This is a workout by Sundried ambassador Charlotte Lamb)
This is an example of a 'for time' workout:
(This is the official CrossFit 180713 workout)
How to write your own MetCon workout
Creating your own MetCon workouts can be a great way to get creative with your training and keep things fun and interesting. You can make it as hard or as easy-going as you like and there are lots of ways to challenge yourself.
The first thing to do when writing a MetCon workout is to figure out what equipment you have at your disposal and what exercises you're capable of completing. It's no good trying to do a workout that includes muscle ups and swimming if you can't do muscle ups and don't have access to water!
Think about your specific goals and add exercises that will help you work towards them. If you are training for a marathon, you could include 1-mile runs and shuttle runs. If you're training for a weightlifting competition, you'll want more barbell complexes and strength exercises like pull-ups and push ups.
You can make a MetCon workout as long or as short as you like, so think about how much time you have on your hands. A MetCon workout can be a great way to burn lots of calories in a very short space of time.