Physiological pronation of the foot

Joshua Cheptegei

Excess of pronation let us to clarify!

For some time now, pronation is a highly debated topic, articles of scientific literature, blogs, newspapers, and magazines talk about it. Nevertheless, how much does this pronation affect the performance of an athlete? Let's start from the beginning. Pronation is a tri-planar movement but, above all, a physiological one! It regards the adaptation of the foot during the mechanics of advancement in walking or running. Suppose there was no pronation, those biomechanical adaptations that the foot makes during walking or running would fail, causing damages to the foot and suprasegmental structures. The problem is not physiological pronation but understanding how much this pronation can affect the overall performance during the athletic gesture and how much this can compromise the sporting result.

The new 10 km record holder Joshua Cheptegei shows, especially in the left foot, an excess of pronation (over-pronation), but this has not prevented him from breaking the world record to 26'11 "00. Therefore, how is it possible that this type of support, despite everything, is so effective and successful? The answer is straightforward: each individual's adaptability and subjectivity can vary depending on intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Consequently, it is possible that if one were to modify that type of pattern by correcting that specific pronation, it would result in a reduction in overall performance and race times. This implies the need for athletes and non-athletes to rely on the competent professional and carry out a practical biomechanical assessment of the individual foot and specific to each athlete. It is necessary to understand when there are alterations in the step or running that can be improved, corrected, or supported with plantar orthotic therapy, with the choice of the appropriate footwear, with exercises aimed at strengthening and controlling the muscles involved in running, the technique, shape, etc.

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