Can extra weight exaggerate pronation

For the larger than average runner carrying more than an extra couple of pounds.
Can excessive weight exaggerate or cause pronation, due to the extra weight making the foot "flex" more ?

or am i making life too difficult ?

answers on a postcard to . . .


  • boing
  • Yes, definitely makes it worse and makes injury more likely.
  • The amount of excessive sub talar and potential mid-tarsal pronation is limited by both osseus (bone) structure. Ligaments, that can stretch over a long period of time or be particularly lax due to genetics (can you put your thumb on the arm by bending it back?). And also muscles and joint capsules. This ends with the level of pronation in a relaxed standing position being pretty similar no matter the weight (In general) However the soft tissue dicplacement may make it look more pronounced! When running and walking the level of pronation is likley not to exceed the given level, BUT will occur more rapidly and stay pronated as a loose bag of bones (hypermobile) for a longer period of time in the gait cycle. The re-suppination which occurs to lock the foot into a rigid lever to push of from during propulsive phases of gait may be limited, slower or not occur at all making a persons gait less efficient. So reducing weight before assessment would not harm, and also strech calf muscle as this is a cause of excessive pronation as a compensatory mechanism. Hope this helps you figure it out a bit? good to remember that with trainers they may aid slow the excess motion a bit and aid re-suppination. They will not control the excessive to a great degree. Same as an orthotic. Even a rigid root type device doesent offer complete control but will aid significantly. Any questions just posyt a thread.
    Regards steve.
  • Simulation of extra weight is carrying a heavy backpack while hiking. In the first couple of days of a walking holiday I sometimes got some pain between the footbones, on the top of the arch, which I also felt recently after doing high impact stuff. Not sure if it is related to pronation, but it does get better with better arch support.
  • wow Steve. Wish I'd thought of that answer!
  • Any more and i'll get rsi from the keyboard.
    apologies for being boring!
    As for the arch supports, there good an do no harm. But the level of pronation is the same. It is only partially linked to arch height.
  • No, you're not boring, but you may find yourself being fulltime employed answering everybody's questions here :-)
  • i wonder how much weight would make a diference
    i appear to have stopped pronating so much
  • Steve, definitely not boring. Very informative as a lard arse that could do with shifting at least 3 stone, and who pronates.
  • keep with it, a mate of mine was always prone to a bit of exes. Started running 4 times a week for about a mth. 40mins +. then went into wice a day as recomended by the penguin guy. He had lost a few stone in 3 and half months and looks pretty nifty?
  • Cheers Steve. Trouble is, the weight went on while I was running! Made the mistake of thinking I could eat want I want because of running. Went from 19 stone to 12 1/2 when I started exercising, and then back up to 16 1/2 stone again as of 1 Jan 2003. Happily I've lost a bit (2 stone) but still need to loose another 2-3 stone.

    Well done to your mate though.
  • Steven - if you are still around, grateful if you could answer one question. You say in the earlier thread the re-suppination propulsion phase of the foot action may be impeded by excessive pronation (or something like that I think). Does this mean that for over-pronators there are inefficiencies which mean for the same amount of effort they won't be able to run as fast as those with a neutral footstrike?

    It just seems from casual observation at races that the fast runners are all in neutral shoes.
  • It could in theory, but it would be fairer to say that the same person without loads of pronation, in a near mathamatical perfect biomechanical set up would be more efficient and so potentialy quicker. So many other factors come into non professional runners. eg genetic, what we ate last nite and stuff. But i reckon, and so does the literature in theory, that a top sprinter as an example would not be a sever pronator, if he were to start pronating as a result of adult acquired flat foot or secondary to peroneal spastic disorder he would prob be timed differently. as well as out of a pay packet. Hope that sort of helps. But yep a person who is devoid of probs inc pronation should be more efficeint and so quicker than if he had sevre pronation. The pronation lies in the rear foot the arches and fore foot at the midtarsal and subtalar joints just move down and out more to ensure that the foot is on the ground! its a compensation mechanism. there are other causes. But pronation is linked with HAV (bunions) functional hallux limitus, hallux rigidus and claw/retracted toes as well which doesent help. Also the propulsive effects of the foot are not optimized in a pronated foot. (bck to the original ques!!)
    However it aint clear cut, and there is huge consensus as to the optimum required degrees of eversion(pronation) reuired for the normal gait. Also no person is mathamaticaly perfect in the way a machine is!
  • Wow, thanks for that. You really should get a job on here!

    So, us over-pronators are not only more likely to get injured, but we're slower too (OK, maybe in no measurable way but...)
  • Just to complicate a bit more, the pathology above eg bodged toes and stuff, occur predominantly in over pronators. But injury is far worse in the suppinated foot type as there is amongst others little shock attenuation. It is however statistically infequent (luckily).
    Levels of injury in pronated foot types is greater than in normal, and it depends on the reason for the pronation (remember the compensation bit) to how bad it is. One bad thing is a gastroc equinus/ankle equinus. Which means tight calfs in most cases. The resultant pronation as compensation is bad in many cases.
    Lots of people have this equinus. If standing pull your foot so the thing is level and knees locked. eg not to flat but not on outside of feet. if you can rock forward with no tension so shin goes over ankle then cool, u need 10 degrees for normal gait. if not stretch. this is pprox though!
    and yea chance would be a fine thing, david the mags pod should do it !
  • Well if I've understood the last test correctly, I pass. But is the implication that stretching to improve flexibility even more important for over-pronators?
  • Not more imprtant, but is one of the causes of somtimes ba pronation. Another consideration is the foot is hyper mobile due to ligament laxity, but isent pronated.
    Also it is difficult to say if a foot is excessive pronation. it depends on where about the neutral is. if neutral is -7 degrees then 8 degrees pronation will take you to +1 degrees. so only just excessive pronation. The -7 degrees is a rear foot varus of 7 degrees. the amount of pronation is said to be excess of 1 degrees as 6 degrees is used to get to neutral, which is the ideal level of compensation for this deformity (Varus of 7 degrees, a varus at rear foot is another cause of pronation). if it gets to neutral or just before then the heel is vertical and this is the ideal. This is a partial compensated rear foot varus. As we have 1 degree left over in the example we go past neutral/vertical by 1 degree this is a fully compensated rear foot varus. wouldent usually bother treating such a little level, meausurements etc arent accurate enough. But if compounded by tight calf or an ankle that can not move upward enough, to allow the leg over the foot during midstance, the pronation in above example could be an extra 4 degrees that makes all the diffence. This is compensation by shortening the foot/leg to allow the leg over?(sorry about that). There are so many examples it isent as simple as above example and each case requires a thorough understanding of concepts to which can be added to over years of training. But hope above stands in good stead as an understanding to what people are/or think there going on about.
  • I started runnign again after 11 years and with a weight of 17stone 8. I bought some Saucony Grid Omni 3 believing I needed support. Many weeks of shin splints I swapped to Nike Air Max Moto and have never looked back. I also bought some Falke anatomical socks (R4 i think) and whilst I was sceptical at first could not believe how much they helped. My running style is different with the extra weight and I did find slight pain in the base of my spine. I tend to take smaller steps as recommended in Runner's World and this helped. Gradually I am losing the weight and my older running style is coming back like the body never forgot it. Take several rest days between and overide the natural enthusisam against your body's actual ability. I still think I am a top athlete like I was at school but the reality hit me in the Manchester Great Run when so many people ran past me. Still from small beginnings........
Sign In or Register to comment.