Can Yoga Help With Foot Supination?

In walking mode, your foot supinates to keep you standing.

In walking mode, your foot supinates to keep you standing.

Foot supination is a position your foot naturally lands in as you walk or run. The normal stance makes it possible for you to move forward while keeping your balance. But you may experience physical problems, such as imbalance, when your feet don't return to a neutral position while at rest. Regular yoga stretching targeting your feet can help you recondition them.

About Normal Supination

When you walk or run, your feet alternate between pronating and supinating. In pronation, as you take a step, the feet roll slightly inward and their balls flatten to absorb the shock of hitting the surface. Supination follows with your feet rolling a little outwardly and assuming a more rigid stance to support your body moving forward.

Chronic Supination

Supination is only necessary when your body is moving. Inappropriate shoes or muscle imbalance can keep your feet from returning to a neutral position when at rest. Chronic supination occurs when your feet assume the position even when they bear no weight. In that case, you’ll notice that when you sit with your legs outstretched in front of you, your soles roll outward.

The Problem

Writing for the “Yoga Journal” website, physical therapist and yoga teacher Julie Gudmestad says that non-weight-bearing supination can result in sprained ankles because the position shortens the calf muscles and it overstretches the lateral ligaments in your ankles. Thus, learning to return your feet to neutral is important to prevent injury.

Yoga for Supination

Gudmestad recommends you train your feet to return to neutral when you are not using them to support your body. One way to condition them is by pressing out through your inner heels at the base of your big toes as you sit on the floor with your feet pressed against a wall. Apply the same pressure to the wall with your big toes as you do with the small ones. While you lie on your back, you can also begin to gradually stop your feet’s tendency to roll outwardly. Keeping your legs touching each other, roll your inner thighs toward the floor until your knees point to the sky.

 

About the Author

Emma Watkins writes on finance, fitness and gardening. Her articles and essays have appeared in "Writer's Digest," "The Writer," "From House to Home," "Big Apple Parent" and other online and print venues. Watkins holds a Master of Arts in psychology.

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