High Heel Workout Classes?
By Dr. Jeffrey Frederick
March 21, 2013
Category: Footwear
Tags: exercise   balance   Injury   high heels   workout classes  

The latest workout craze may seem like a better way to get an injury rather than to lose a few pounds, but workout centers across the country have started to advertise high-heel themed workout classes.  In the classes participants are encouraged to wear high heels to the class, which consists of exercises tailored to improve balance and stability while walking in heels.  Can this be a good idea?

One class, called “Heel Hop”, seeks to target muscles that support the body and allow for fluid movements when wearing high heels and even includes high-kicking in different directions.  The workouts supposedly focus on core abdominal strength by encouraging proper posture. The Crunch Fitness chain of gyms offers “Stiletto Strength”, which dedicates a special portion of the class to an aerobic runway style parade as each participant strolls across the room individually. 

Some may wonder, after spending so much money on cute high heels, then why not wear them with confidence?  The truth is, if you require a specialized workout class to maintain adequate balance to walk in heels, then heels may not be for you.  Also, many foot and ankle ailments can be exacerbated by heels, which place unnatural stress on the metatarsal heads and other soft tissues of the forefoot. 

Of course, many experts—and common sense—warn that wearing high heels for extended periods can increase the risk of injury. Recently a study at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, and the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, found that high-heel wearers experienced "alterations in muscle-tendon architecture," which led to fatigue and strain.  When heels are worn, the calf muscles in the leg tighten and can become contracted over time, leading to an equinus deformity.  The biggest concern, however, is low back and hip pain due to increased load and stress to these areas.  Do your whole body a favor – ditch the heels and slip on some comfy athletic shoes instead.

Thank you for visiting our website!  Please continue to learn more about your foot care needs by reading other informative articles and by visiting our helpful links.  NorthPointe Foot & Ankle is located in Berkley, MI and has been serving people around the Southfield, Berkley, Ferndale, and Royal Oak area for over 30 years.  Request an appointment via our website or call our office at (248) 545-0100.