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What is Over-pronation and How Can I Benefit from Preventing It?

by Ryan Krane, CPT, PES, CES

Over-pronation occurs when the foot collapses too far inward stressing the plantar fascia (the area underneath the arch of the foot.) Normally, one pronates every time he/she walks, but excessive pronation is called over-pronation. When this occurs it can cause pain in the feet, knees, hips, low back and even the shoulder.

Overpronation Illustration

A few ways to reduce over-pronation...

• Strengthen the glutes to slow down the force of the foot moving too far inward. Most individuals who over-pronate have weak glute muscles and strengthening this area is a must.  A simple exercise to strengthen glutes is lateral tube walking across a field/court/room.  Place a lateral stretch band around your ankles and move your leg sideways while keeping your feet forward.

• Massage and stretch the calves to increase dorsiflexion at the foot/ankle. Dorsiflexion is the bending at the ankle. By improving the dorsiflexion, one will have more flexibility at the ankle, which will allow the foot to over-pronate less.

• Massage the IT Band with a foam roller or tennis ball to quiet down the tightness throughout this part of the leg. The IT Band attaches from the glute maximus and runs down the side of the leg into the knee area. When the IT Band is tight it will accelerate the force of the leg moving inward, which will cause the foot to move inward as well. It is often that tightness through the IT Band that promotes over-pronation.

Decreasing over-pronation, which is very prominent in runners, will help add endurance, speed and efficiency to your run and ultimately place less stress on your body.

Ryan Krane is a fitness consultant and CES (Corrective Exercise Specialist) specializing in helping chronic pain sufferers address and eliminate recurring body aches through expert-designed flexibility, posture and strength training.

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