Pronation of the foot.... Who here has heard that pronation is not good for your feet? We have lots of footwear and orthotics designed to remove pronation, instill supinator (arch lift) devices in an effort to correct the positioning of the foot and leg and make buttock muscles work better. But does this work?
Well, OVER-pronation is not great for the feet, but it has its reasons (more on this at another time).
BUT pronation itself is an essential part of your walking cycle, where you are weight bearing on one leg. What is happening and why is it so important?
As you are weight bearing on one leg, you are flattening the arch, creating internal rotation of your lower and upper leg bones and stretching the buttock (glute) muscles in preparation for push off with the big toe and engagement of your glute. That is pronation. Without effective pronation, you cannot stretch these lower and upper leg tissues in readiness for working the glutes properly. And who might have been told they have lazy glutes and need to strengthen them?
Think of it in another way. If you have a catapult (safety first!) and want to shoot a pebble, you would stretch it first properly, loading it in preparation for propelling that pebble across a room, when it contracts. Same with your muscles. Stretch them first then load them properly. A half hearted stretch won't give you the same propelling engagement in contraction. Your pebble will go "donk" downwards and not shoot forward.
If we eliminate pronation from your walking cycle, the glutes won't get a chance to stretch and won't contract as effectively. So no amount of glute bridges will cut it as when walking, you still won't load them well if you are not pronating effectively.
Join me to find out more!