Sports Science Basics for Runners
By Dr. David Cosman in Hong Kong
Foot Action: Part 2; Foot Posture
Mechanically, the foot and ankle should go through a mild rolling action (pronation and supination) when walking or running. Over-pronation is seen when a foot and ankle jerks inward (termed forefoot failure) at the start of the push off phase. Over-pronation will in turn cause over-supination due to simple mathematical balance. This can easily be seen with simple gait analysis by the experienced sports scientist.
Over-pronation transmits repeated mechanical stresses to the muscles, ligaments and their fasciae in the feet, ankles, knees, hips and the pelvis, where secondary or compensatory injuries can occur.
Thigh and knee pain treatment commonly includes corrective foot orthotics that would have the goal of correcting any forefoot failure. Not every foot orthotic is corrective, so be sure to understand if your orthotic requires forefoot correction, also termed forefoot posting.
Correcting your foot posture is NOT something to think about when walking or running. If you try to control your foot into what you think are ideal positions, it will probably cause a chain reaction of compensatory stresses to other muscles and fascia. This can ruin your rhythm and can place excessive stress on other parts, resulting in self-imposed overuse injuries.
Let the orthotics do the work. Foot position is NOT a conscious thing that you should be thinking about when walking or running. If you try to force your foot into ideal positions, it might cause a chain reaction of compensatory stresses to other muscles and fascia. This can ruin your rhythm and can place excessive stress on other parts, resulting in self-imposed overuse injuries.
Consciously, runners should instead focus on their head, chest and pelvis posture, and concentrate on pre-loading and contracting the gluteals alternatively with each pump of propulsion. This, I term GMax.
GMax also sets up the body’s spring loaded fascial mechanism, wherein the gluteals are like the main power in a motor-driven spring-loaded system that momentarily and briskly loads the global fascia, providing a mousetrap-quick traction and timely stabilization to the knees, ankles and feet... one propulsive stride at a time.
Hypothetical strategies to strengthen weak muscles are used by many therapists to control foot and ankle motion problems. Proper warm up and post-injury exercises to re-educate coordinated foot activity are musts; the treatment strategy formula might also require suitable foot orthotics and suitable footwear combined with implementation of efficient running technique.
The feet are your body’s foundation and their posture can affect the whole body while running and walking.