Pronation has become a dirty word.
Pick through any running article and you’re likely to see the word paired with the word “Over” and talked about as if it’s a problem to be avoided.
Before we go on, have a look at this stunning animation of the foot bones.
Don’t worry about the narration (turn the sound off), just watch as the foot moves, how the bones interacts and that bar they’ve added in to help visualise the net motion travels:
Stunning isn’t it.
26 bones, 33 joints, all doing their thing.
Wrapped around all those bones is a shed load of muscle, tendon and ligament. Including the monster that is our Achilles Tendon.
And all this has been tasked with the job of carrying you around all day every day. And what are you?
You’re a member of the genus Homo Sapiens, a Human Animal. The ONLY upright bipedal animal on the planet. Know for it’s incredible efficiency in it’s gait cycle (walking) that allows it to cover huge distances, in fact the Homo Sapien is so effective, it can run almost any other animal into exhaustion, a technique used for hunting to this day.
One of the reasons for this is the unique 3 arch structure in our feet.
But here’s the thing. Since we live on flat ground now, paved surfaces, smooth playing fields etc. And we wear protective, supportive footwear. Our poor feet don’t get the stimulus they need to maintain their strength and mobility.
So we MUST train them.
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How do you train your feet? Do you try to shorten them? Tighten the muscles uner the arch and force them to make the “right shape” ? Or do you accept that there isn’t A right shapen but there is a continuum of shapes as its 33 joints move in synchronicity from a hig arched Supinated shape (banana) to a flat, spread out Pronated shape (pancake) If you don’t have good movement in the feet, your body will make up for it somewhere else. It might be the knee, the hip, the back, the shoulder, the neck, the jaw. We don’t know unless we assess. But even without assessment, simply stimulating our feet with good quality movement has a huge tonic effect on the body. Prime the feet, prime the athlete. #wgfamily #irishfitfam #AiM #Garyward_aim #jointsact #wtf #Kettlebellsport #chigung #martialarts #bjj #judo #kyokushin #karate
A post shared by Dave Hedges (@dave_hedges) on Sep 21, 2018 at 1:22am PDT
Find yourself a step, even a thick book will do (sorry, the Kindle is too thin….) The elevation provided by the step allows the toes to hang free and prevents them from gripping the floor. The wedges you see in the photo are recommended, but optional, they create a 3D environment for the foot, rather than the normal 2 dimensional floor. They also create space under the foot so that we can stretch load the plantar fascia.
By stretch loading a muscle, especially if done so with gait specific joint mechanics, we can “wake up” that muscle and stimulate it to recoil back towards it’s optimal length. If you have ever had Planat Fasciitis, this must sound pretty good to you.
Watch this video, it’s from the Hip Mobility eBook, so doesn’t feature the wedges or hanging toes, but the rest of the movement is there:
This is pronation done right.
This is the pronation we are supposed to do, this is where we stretch load, eccentrically load all the muscles, tendons and ligaments that propel us forward with such power and efficiency.
No this won’t turn you into Usain Bolt or Eliud Kipchoge But it will help you get some spring back in your system.
Dave Hedges www.WG-Fit.com