In Coaching, Running, Videos

June 03, 2011

Video Article

Continuing the series of conversations with Dr. Nicholas Romanov, creator of the Pose Method, Romanov is joined by his son and colleague Severin, Sevan Matossian, and members of CrossFit Miami Beach.

When asked what makes Lance Armstrong so successful, Romanov says it is his technique.

“He has best technique in cycling—best,” Romanov says. “Second, of course, is mental condition—he is stronger than anyone else.”

Nathan Forster of CrossFit Miami Beach asks Romanov about orthotics. According to Romanov, they are “crutches.” The arch should never be weight bearing.

“For movement, you have to be on the forefoot,” he says, and for standing we use the heel.

Severin Romanov adds that barefoot training is therapeutic.

“When you train barefoot, it actually sometimes recovers the arch to its original shape,” he says.

While Romanov says barefoot running develops “your relationship with the Earth” and its gravitational and electromagnetic forces, he recommends racing flats or “minimalistic shoes.” He says they provide better friction, and according to Pose principles, “friction we need to better have support for falling,” he says. Shoes allow a better rate of falling than going barefoot, so barefoot runners are never the fastest.

11min 04sec

Additional reading: The Basics of Pose Running Techniques by Brian MacKenzie, published Dec. 1, 2007.

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12 Comments on “Shoes, Barefoot Running and Lance Armstrong”


wrote …

Great stuff. The passion and the knowledge shine through. Like Greg Glassman and Tony Blauer, I could listen to him speak about his area of expertise all day. Nice to hear him throw Herb Elliot's name out there, that's a name familiar to all Aussies. Herb was trained by Percy Cerutty. Google the man, he was waaaay ahead of his time. Kinda CrossFit before CrossFit was invented. "Why Die?" by Graem Sims is a great Percy biography.


wrote …

I've had flat feet all my life. I need to try this. I've been practicing karate with my son and we are always barefoot. We always jump rope as a warm up for class and the first time I did that my feet and calves were sore for almost 5 days!!! Now, I can jump rope and they don't get sore so I'm thinking if I take it to the next level and run barefoot, at least some, it will help with my fallen arches.


replied to comment from Patrick Donnelly

I have had flat feet for as long as I can remember. I was told orthotics were the answer but after a few years of using them I only had injuries as a result; shin splints, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, etc... I started running barefoot (with the correct pose method) about 2-3 months ago and I have no pain and I am able to run a few miles at a time. My arches are also higher now. You need to understand though that just running barefoot won't solve anything. You still need to learn good technique. I'd recommend finding a POSE running coach.


wrote …

Can I just ask what the heck he is talking about discharging yourself into the ground? I'll agree that barefoot running is relaxing but I don't think that has anything to do with a physical transfer of charge from your body to the earth.....


wrote …

Couldn't agree more. That electromagnetic business struck me a pseudoscientific claptrap. Granted medical school was 20 yrs ago but human physiology has not changed. That was just silly BS.


Alex Kourkoumelis wrote …

Electrobusiness or not, running on grass is always nice.


wrote …

to call something YOU do not believe in "silly BS" is pretty irrogant.
tell alot about your character. medical school is not the end all abd be all of knowledge.


wrote …

As a podiatrist who just finished reading the book 'Born to Run', I was eager to hear the Doc's opinion on this topic. Where orthotics are concerned, I felt that his response was short and too simplistic, referring to them as a 'crutch'. He may not have had the time to elaborate, considering the short time of the video, however.....
I feel that the lower limb can have structural limitations that running technique will not completely address. For a patient that is running with pain, properly made orthotics may help. For instance, a runner with tibia varum (curved tibias-cowboy like) could suffer from shin splints because the lower leg musculature must decelerate the foot at contact. Orthotics could prevent this.

And if orthotics are a crutch, so what!. If you break a leg, crutches help you heal. If your feet hurt, why couldn't orthotics do the same????


Chris Walls wrote …

I can attest to training barefoot rebuilding arches. I have always had flat arches/feet, for as long as I can remember, spent a year in VFF as my everyday shoe, for walking around and training (except lifting, I had oly shoes for that). I now have arches.


wrote …

Show me the science behind Dr Romanov's statement and I'll happily consider it. I've read the man's books, watched his DVD's, works his drills and taken POSE running classes. I think he's genius when it comes to the biomechanics of running. I have much respect for the man and what he's (indirectly) taught me. But, I stand by my silly BS statement and until I see the data to prove otherwise, I'll just remain "irrogant" and character flawed.


wrote …

I have to agree with Patrick on this one. Show the science behind this "electromagnetic discharge" business. It's a fairly minor part of what Romanov is saying and promoting, but I think too often people assume that because someone is an expert in one field, their opinions on other fields are equally valid. Science is based on evidence and not belief.

Is walking barefoot on grass good for you? Quite likely it is. It probably improves proprioception, strength, mobility, etc. The sensory effect is probably relaxing too (a "discharge" of emotion perhaps?), but to attribute that relaxation effect to pseudoscientific "electromagnetic discharge" is going too far.

Surely it wouldn't be too difficult to hook a couple of electrodes up to someone walking barefoot on grass, if indeed this is a promising theory.


wrote …

if you listen closely, he say electro 'magnetic', because he's talking about the earth's electromagnetic field...but then he corrects himself and says 'STATIC'...

it's an electro-static discharge...which is called 'grounding'...

which is scientific (and common sense)... just like when you shock yourself on a doorknob, the static built up because you scuffed your non-conductive shoes across non-conductive carpet... the static charge is anxious to find ground, and the nearest thing is the doorknob.

this electro-static discharge is a problem in sensitive electronics, thus they have 'ESD' protocols, grounding straps, etc to prevent these little sparks from ruining expensive circuit boards...

so, if we live in shoes, walk on carpet, sit in cars with carpet, etc all day long, it's good to take off your shoes and walk barefoot on the ground so that your body can release some of this built-up electro-static energy

or, you can touch the small screw in the center of your outlet, which is connected to ground...or stand in the ocean... etc...

not claptrap, nor pseudo-science by any means (you may have just been thrown off by his mis-statement about electro-magnetic... but even that's not as far off as you might think ;-)

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