Exercises to Improve Overpronation with Intention to Improve Performance

February 23rd, 2020

Pronation is a natural movement of the foot that is essential during the landing of the foot whilst walking, running or just generally moving before the foot can push of the surface of the ground.

During pronation the foot goes through three cardinal plane movements, subtalar eversion, ankle dorsiflexion and forefoot abduction, which occur simultaneously. The arch of the foot should collapse to some extent in order for supination to occur and the foot to move through the whole process of gait.

If the arch of the foot overpronates then this can cause an issue running up the chain of the body, increasing the chance of injury. This is not just in application to walking and running, but can also cause incorrect movement patterns to occurr through gym based exercises like squatting. For example, on the accent out of the bottom of the squat, if the ankle collapses too much, then the optimal amount of torque between the foot and the ground cannot be established, this can cause the knee to be unstable and wobble inwards, forcing the hip to be in a comprimised position. This leads to compensations occuring in the body to perform the movement. If loaded, the squat can then put the wrong amount of force through the joints, and over time the body learns faulty behaviours leading to injury.

So what can you do about it?

Well that all depends on the individual. If there is a structural issue then the best course of action could be orthotics worn in the shoe, or shoes that already have support in can be very useful for repetitive ground contact sports, like running. However, building strength in the areas that are lacking can be a helpful longer term solution, and although they may not completely fix the problem, they will definitely help the body to function better and incite improved movement quality.

Below are a few ways that the foot can be trained to move better.

Balancing in supination and pronation builds awareness and strength in an isomatric way.

Foot eversion builds strength in the arch of the foot, to prevent it from over collapsing.

Ankle dorsiflexion builds strength transferring over to the push off phase of supination.

Try adding these in to your warm up routine, to ensure that you get the most out of your training session, and see if it gives you a better push out of the ground. I would recommend committing to doing it three times a week for at least a month, and then reducing the amount down as desired.

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