Running Health: Over Pronation

What is Over Pronation?

Over Pronation is the excessive inward rolling of the foot during the initial phase when the foot contacts the ground. Levels of over pronation depend on a variety of factors, such as gender, range of motion and foot mechanics during running.

When is Over Pronation a concern?

Reducing Over Pronation can be beneficial if you are suffering from recurring running-related injuries or if other changes to your running technique, training routine, or footwear do not seem to be making an improvement to your performance.

How can I improve my Over Pronation?

1. Lower leg & foot exercises

One way to reduce Over Pronation is through foot strengthening and maintaining good lower leg flexibility. Below is a workout to reduce your Over Pronation.

Follow this exercise plan for 2-3 times per week for a period of 4-6 weeks and re-evaluate your Pronation scores regularly using Running Health. Go to ‘How can I tell if my Over Pronation is improving?’ below to learn how to check your progress.

Exercise plan (time estimate: 30 mins)(Downloadable PDF)

2. Changing your footwear

Many running brands offer shoes designed to reduce Over Pronation. Switching to a supportive or a ‘motion control’ shoe could be considered, especially if experiencing foot pain or discomfort. The additional support added to these shoes via firmer materials or a medial post (see below) will reduce excessive inward motion of the foot when the foot is in contact with the ground. If your local running store has a treadmill, ask if you can try a few pairs of shoes and select the one that is right for your gait and feels most comfortable to you.

New Balance 860v10 support shoe

3. Off-shelf / custom insoles

Running insoles aim to control the movement of your feet during each foot-ground contact, normally via medial arch support, to change the foot motion and/or pressure distribution so that less motion and pressure is on the inside (medial) part of your foot.

TIP: If you can, use a professional gait analysis service, or see a podiatrist. This will help to maximize the chance of finding insoles that meet your needs.


Changing Your Routine

Follow the steps below to introduce trial improvements to your routine:

1. Select an improvement to try. NURVV recommends this order:

  • Exercises: Use the workout listed above and exercise 2-3 times per week.
  • Footwear: If your Neutral Pronation scores are very low from the start, consider a change in footwear immediately, especially if you are running in an old pair of shoes or if you always had issues with your current trainers..
  • Insoles


2. Monitor your Pronation for signs of improvement using Running Health.

3. Assess your progress every 4 weeks. If your Pronation hasn’t improved, or you’d like to improve it further, select another improvement to try and repeat the process.

How can I tell if my Over Pronation is improving?

Using the Running Health feature is the easiest and the most effective way to track your progress in improving Over Pronation.

1. Go to the Running health screen. Check your Health Radar regularly to see the current category of your Pronation. If your Pronation starts to improve, you may notice changes to your overall Health Score - your pronation metric will be gradually moving from ‘Bad’/’Poor’/’Average’ towards ‘Good’ and ‘Great’ categories.

2. Now scroll down to A breakdown and select Pronation to see detailed pronation analysis for each foot.

3. On top of this Pronation screen, your % Neutral Pronation data are presented for the past 28 days. This graph is key for monitoring your progress once you start implementing the improvement strategies. You should be looking for a gradual increase of the pink line (% Neutral Pronation) over time as seen below. The small circles indicate daily values of Neutral Pronation on days when runs were completed.

TIP: Shoe choice can have a significant impact on your level of Neutral Pronation.
If your Pronation graph shows large variations in daily values when you run, it would be worth exploring whether there seems to be a pattern between your shoe selection and the daily values

.

4. Scrolling down on the Pronation screen you can now identify the full breakdown of pronation categories for each foot and therefore, check whether both or just one foot is causing your Over Pronation score. Over the course of a few weeks, you will be able to observe if and how the strategies that you applied are affecting your pronation characteristics.

Try to answer these questions: Is the percentage of Over Pronation decreasing? Is the foot starting to show more Neutral Pronation?

If you are experience running-related pain and you still exhibit high levels of Over Pronation after trying the strategies outlined above, then consider going through a professional gait analysis.

Workout

Improving Over Pronation