By Jordana Bieze Foster
Strength training focused on the pronation and supination affects rearfoot motion in runners to a greater extent than traditional plantar- and dorsiflexion training, according to research from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.
Investigators studied 30 runners, all rearfoot strikers, who completed one of two 10-week strength training programs. Those in the experimental group performed supination and pronation exercises with their right leg using a specially designed training machine, and traditional plantar- and dorsiflexion exercises with their left leg. Those in the control group did traditional training only.
The experimental training was associated with significantly greater strength gains for both the pronator and supinator muscles, particularly the latter. Both protocols significantly increased supination angle at touchdown during running, but only the experimental protocol was also associated with significant decreases and delays in pronation velocity.
“The increased supination strength leads to smoother rearfoot motion when excessive pronation is induced,” said Marco Hagen, a human movement research scientist at the university, who presented his group’s results in September at the i-FAB meeting.