Jake Berman

"Regular Health & Golf Tips From Physical Therapist Dr. Jake Berman..."

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Hey, we’re rolling, baby, rolling, rolling. Today we’re going to talk about why is it important to practice barefoot. I get a lot of people commenting on my videos over the years, who’s this clown not wearing golf shoes? How am I supposed to take you seriously? It’s for a very valid reason. because your feet are literally the only thing connecting you to the ground. And every single golfer should know or admit that balance is one of the most important things that you can have in the golf swing. Balance starts in your feet. The thing that people don’t know is that you’ve got 16 muscles in the arch of your foot. Four layers of four muscles right here on the arch of your foot.
So that’s 32 muscles between your both of your arches that you should be using to help you with balance, stability, consistency, and improving your golf swing. The problem is, is when you take your foot and you put it into a shoe and you lace it up real tight with a $500 pair of orthotics in there, those muscles don’t have to work anymore because you’re now getting external support from the shoe so the internal support, the muscles, don’t have to work anymore. So what you want to do is practice barefoot as much as you possibly can. I know it’s frowned upon on the driving range, so obviously take this with a grain of salt. Do this inside with your feet so that you can train your brain to find those muscles in your feet.
Now I’ve got a stress ball here. Fancy, looks like a golf ball. It’s just a stress ball though. here’s one of my favorite drills to do to help improve the strength of the tiny intrinsic muscles in my feet to give me better balance. Because here’s what happens if you don’t have balance. Take a slow motion video of your golf swing. At the top of the backswing, I can almost guarantee that your foot is doing this. So you can zoom in on this or walk up, whatever you want to do. So at the top of the backswing, your foot is doing some type of rolling motion. when your foot rolls, your right glute literally cannot fire anymore. Seriously, when your foot rolls out, your glute biomechanically, physically cannot fire anymore.
So you’re trying to fire your glutes and you can’t do it because your brains like, oh shit, there’s no stability in that anchor point. That’s unstable. So I’m gonna turn this off so we don’t use it. So what we want to do is take a stress ball, put it underneath the arch of your foot, closer to your big toe pad right here. I don’t want it far back. I want it in the front half of the arch of your foot. Get into the address position, and then just start trying to smash. Are you zoomed in on this? Can you see this? Try to smash the stress ball without letting your knee buckle in. This is bad. This is good. For most of you, this is going to be very, very hard.
Don’t give up on it. It may take weeks. It may take a couple of months. Keep trying to do it because it’s a good return on investment. 16 muscles here, 16 muscles there. That’s 32 muscles that we could add to our golf swing. And there shouldn’t be a single person watching this saying that more muscles is worse. for your golf swing then better, right? So step number one, just try to smash the golf or the stress ball without letting your knee buckle in. Then gradually start working into the backswing and think about increasing pressure on that stress ball as you’re going into the backswing. Then keep trying to increase it, increase it, increase it. When you get to the top of the backswing, smash that,
stress ball as hard as you possibly can. When you can smash that stress ball, now you should be able to feel the glutes firing because your brain knows that you have a solid base of support here, so it’s going to allow you to use these muscles. Side view, stress ball under the arch, go into the backswing. You can’t smash the stress ball if you straighten your knee. This is what a lot of amateurs do. You straighten the knee into the backswing. You can’t smash the ball anymore. You can’t smash the ball. You can’t fire your glutes. So maintain the flexion, the bend in your knee as you go into the backswing so that you can really smash the stress ball. That’s going to wake those muscles up in your feet.
Then here’s how you translate it into the golf course. Take the freaking $500 or $1,000 pair of orthotics out. Throw them away. Get rid of them because those orthotics are not allowing you to use your muscles. Then put your foot in the shoe and then only lace it up as tight as it has to be so that it does not slip off your heel as you’re walking. That will allow your foot to splay as you’re walking in the shoes versus being constricted every step you take, your toes and your forefoot can’t do anything. It’s meant to move. You want those feet or the muscles to be working. You want your forefoot and your toes to splay out. I’m exaggerating, right? Just so you can see it.
But you want them to move. So orthotics out, feet in, only lace them up just tight enough so that they’re not slipping off your heel so that your muscles can actually do their job. If you got plantar fasciitis or some type of foot pain, that’s a whole different subject. I got other videos on that. So different subject. Don’t use it as an excuse though. Take home message is practice barefoot as much as you possibly can so that the 16 muscles in one foot, the 16 muscles in the other foot, the 32 muscles total can start getting stronger. Nobody ever said less muscles is better for your golf swing. If you want more simple, effective tips like this, check out the online T-Shot Transformation Program.
Check the show notes. Amazing program, straight to your inbox. Great membership site with all sorts of added value. Check it out. Like, subscribe, comment. Let me know what you think. Let me know how you feel your muscles and your feet getting better as you’re doing this over the days, weeks, and months. Right? Yeah, baby. Keep on keeping on, baby.

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Dr. Jake Berman

Dr. Jake Berman

After graduating from the University of Florida, Dr. Jake Berman, PT, DPT sought out mentorship first from Bob Seton in Destin, FL and then from Aaron Robles in Jacksonville, FL. Both of these mentors have 20+ years of experience helping people keep active and mobile so they can enjoy high quality active lifestyles. What Jake found was that back pain was by far the most debilitating pain and the highest factor leading to decreased physical activity later in life. These experiences are what inspired Jake to specialize in helping people aged 50+ keep active, mobile and pain free despite the aging process. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to alleviate somebody’s back pain so that they can get back to living their best life- especially in Naples! Over the years of helping 100’s of people aged 65-75 become stronger and pain free, one thing for sure has become apparent: “he who rests rots”. Jake is a firm believer that we become stiff then old, not old then stiff. Seriously, think about it...
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