Do you Suffer from Excess Supination?

Supination is a type of motion that causes the hand to turn inward or away from the body. In most cases, this article will explore some movements and exercises you can try at home to correct your supinated grip without going through any expensive treatments.

Supination of the foot is a condition in which the foot turns inward. This can cause pain and problems with walking, and other issues.

Supination and pronation are two words for the rolling action of the heels and feet during the gait cycle, which occurs when we run or walk. Oversupinators don’t roll their root inward sufficiently since Supination defines the rolling outward action of the foot.

Supination is the reverse of pronation of the foot. Hence excessive Supination is also known as “underpronation” (rolling inward). Both over supination and overpronation place excessive tension on the underneath and outer borders of the foot, causing leg discomfort.

Too slight Supination is more of an issue for most individuals than too much, although excessive Supination may also cause problems. So who is the most likely to have supination issues? Underpronators/supinators are runners with high arches (opposite of “flat feet” or collapsed arches) and tight Achilles tendons.

Rolling or spraining the ankle, developing “hammertoes” (clawed toes), Achilles tendinitis, running problems including plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and iliotibial band syndrome affecting the knees, as well as overall instability and weakness, are all symptoms of supination anomalies.

The muscles in the legs and feet get taught to push the foot away from the ground using essentially the outside toes/pinky toes, which allows underpronation (or excess Supination) to create such a wide range of difficulties. Because they are often weak parts of the foot, they carry more weight and pressure than they can manage, leading to scar tissue formation. Overuse injuries might also happen. It’s easy to understand how Supination and similar postural issues influence more than just the feet – they may also lead to muscle compensations that affect the whole body.

What Is Supination?

Supination (underpronation) occurs when the foot does not roll inward enough after landing. Individuals with over Supination move their foot outward too much compared to those with “normal,” healthy lower body posture (less than 15 percent of an inward roll when landing). As a result, when the foot strikes the ground, the ankle and just a tiny amount of the outer toes absorb the stress, causing discomfort in the ankle, foot, and lower leg.

A weight change must occur at the feet, knees, and hips to accept weight onto one leg and drive forward while the body moves. An average amount of Supination occurs during the push-off step of thrusting forward. Supination allows the heel to rise off the ground, allowing the forefoot and toes to land in a position that propels the body forward. On the other hand, Supination leads to frequent running injuries by causing ankle instability. In addition, weak ankles may lead to postural issues, such as too much pressure being applied to vulnerable parts of the lower legs and an increased risk of spraining.

Supination Issues

People acquire anomalies linked to pronation, supination, dorsiflexion, and other foot or leg movements for a variety of causes, including:

  • Genetics (genetics influences leg length, foot breadth, ankle stability, and the curve of the foot’s arches, for example)
  • Taking a walk on a flat, hard surface (rather than natural terrain)
  • Wearing out-of-date or non-supportive footwear
  • Muscle compensations in the legs, sacrum, and spine as a result of bad posture
  • Scar tissue from previous injuries, such as ankle sprains, stress fractures in the legs, or tendon rips, may create instability.
  • Poor form is a big no-no when it comes to jogging or exercising.
  • Excessive exercise or prolonged standing are examples of overuse.
  • Aging causes a reduction in range of motion and stiffness.
  • In the joints of the foot or ankles, loose ligaments or cartilage loss are common (such as those of the subtalar joint)
  • Leg discrepancy may occur in various instances (legs are different lengths)
  • Too little exercise causes weakness in the ankles or lower body (a sedentary lifestyle)

Here are some telltale indicators that you’re an underpronator (over-supinator):

  • Ankle sprains regularly
  • Pain under the feet (in the ball of the foot) or in the ankles is joint.
  • Hammertoes/clawed toes
  • The throbbing or weakening worsens when you run, stroll, exercise, or stand for an extended period.
  • Musculoskeletal dysfunction in the ankles, calves, outer thighs, or knees
  • Inflammation of the ankle, foot, or heel. The toes are often impacted as well, developing calluses or bunions.
  • There is a loss of functioning in the lower body and a reduction in the range of motion.

Dorsiflexion vs. Supination

  • Supination and dorsiflexion are phrases that refer to how the feet and ankles move and how stable they are (they can sometimes also be applied to other body parts that bend back, as the hands).
  • When the foot touches the ground, deviations (abnormal levels) of ankle supination or dorsiflexion are often used to characterize form and postural abnormalities that underlie frequent running injuries. Plantar fasciitis or shin splints, runner’s knee, heel spurs, and Achilles tendon symptoms are examples of these ailments.
  • Supination is the outward rolling action of the foot, while dorsiflexion is the backward bending of the foot. Dorsiflexion reduces the angle between the foot and the ankle, implying that the toes rise up and away from the ground toward the ankle/body.
  • When bending over, crouching, or leaping forward, proper dorsiflexion is also required to bring the knees over the ankles.
  • Abnormal dorsiflexion, or backward flexion of the foot, is a frequent condition associated with injuries sustained during running and other sports and activities. The ankle’s mobility is critical for propelling the body forward, particularly when leaping, sprinting, or running swiftly.
  • It’s also challenging to maintain appropriate form while doing strength training with the knees, such as squatting or lifting weights, if you don’t have adequate ankle dorsiflexion. In addition, because the torso can’t stay vertical owing to ankle stiffness (insufficient dorsiflexion), you can’t maintain a neutral spine. As a result, knees may sometimes collapse, putting additional strain on the back.
  • On the other side, excessive dorsiflexion might be harmful. Because too much motion owing to weakness in the muscles and joints of the foot may lead to ankle rolling or spraining and symptoms of the runner’s knee, ankle stability is equally crucial.

Supination Treatments

Suppose your orthopedic, physical therapist, trainer, or doctor notices improper Supination or dorsiflexion in your feet. In that case, they’ll probably advise you to improve your form and wear more supportive shoes with inserts. When it comes to exercising, changing your sneakers/shoes is generally the initial step, making orthotics even more beneficial.

Arch support and, in some instances, an elevated heel is used in orthotic inserts for sneakers or shoes to reduce the rolling-forward motion of the foot. In addition, they may assist in supporting the ankle by relieving strain on the little toes. This helps protect the knees and back while doing activities like jogging or lifting weights. If your doctor feels orthotics may be beneficial for enhancing comfort when standing for lengthy periods, relieving low back pain, or minimizing heel discomfort, use them. Suppose the pain in your feet or ankles becomes unbearable. In that case, you may wish to take an anti-inflammatory medicine (such as over-the-counter ibuprofen) to reduce swelling and tissue/joint irritation. (Of course, anti-inflammatory foods and natural pain relievers are also alternatives.)

Physical treatment may be recommended by your doctor, depending on the severity of your supination condition. Physical therapy may “re-teach” your muscles and joints to distribute their weight healthily, beginning with your feet and working up to your sacrum, pelvis, and spine.

1. Make sure your form is correct.

Here are some pointers to assist you in improving your posture, which is the foundation for learning excellent running/walking techniques. When putting additional strain or weight on the feet, such as lifting weights or running extremely rapidly, proper form and posture through the spine are vital.

  • When sprinting or walking quickly, try to land softly on your feet. Some people imagine “running on eggshells” or “running on water.” Instead of smashing your feet into the ground, stay light on your feet.
  • Instead of landing near the rear of your heel, try landing closer to your midfoot. Try to land with a generally flat foot, avoiding too much inward or outward bending of the toes, or landing too much to the side of the foot).
  • To maintain appropriate foot and leg form, raise your cadence somewhat and shorten your stride.
  • Maintain an erect stance through your back when running.

2. To Loosen Tight Muscles, Stretch 

Supinators should stretch their calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and the iliotibial band more often (basically the whole leg). Stretching and moving muscles in the legs helps break up adhesions and makes it easier to maintain appropriate form. Ankle stretching may also help with dorsiflexion or ankle mobility and stability.

Many soft tissue therapists and physical therapists advocate massaging aching feet, releasing ankles, and extending tight calves before beginning exercise. You may also include some of these leg stretches into your regular activities since weak, tight ankles are typically a significant contributing factor in supination issues:

  • Place a foam roller on the floor, place your body on top of it so the roller is beneath your calves, and gently roll back and forth. You may also do this on the back or sides of your calves. Repeat up to five times a day by moving the region and holding sensitive places for 30 to 60 seconds. This should be completed before stretching.
  • Try rolling around with a tennis ball under your foot and gently massaging the fascia (soft tissue) underneath your feet.
  • Start in pushup posture, then move your feet forward slightly to land on the balls of your feet (forming an upside-down “V” with your body). As you balance on the balls of your feet, lift your heels away from the ground, then drop them back down. Repeat 10 times, or more than once a day if desired.
  • Lift your legs in the air and flex your ankles back and forth while lying on your back. Alternatively, form little circles (turning toes towards your body and away). Repeat this process for many minutes.
  • Put your toes against a wall and tilt them back towards your torso. This opens out the calves and relaxes the ankles.
  • Wrap a resistance band around your ankle (also known as an exercise band) to gently pump and increase ankle flexibility.
  • Raise and drop your heels and toes to the ground, then return to the starting position. Do ten to fifteen at a time. If you’d like, you may use a step.
  • Bend the opposite knee and gently move it beyond the ankle while swaying the knee back and forth to increase dorsiflexion.
  • Bend forward from the waist to touch the floor or shins while standing with straight legs. The hamstrings will be stretched as a result of this. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds. To relax the inner portion and hamstrings, keep your legs wide apart with toes pointing outward somewhat.

3. Increase Leg Muscle Strength for Better Support

Leg-strengthening exercises to assist alleviate ankle and calves muscle weakness include:

  • Squats – All sorts of squats need good ankle mobility and stability (dorsiflexion), but they also build leg strength in almost every area. Simple squats or squatting while raising a weight above are good options. To protect your back, keep your tailbone tucked and your core firm.
  • Lunges – Side lunges, lunge dips, and lunge twists are all examples of lunges.
  • Crab crawls – Squat down in front of your arms while bending your knees and bringing your hands behind you. Stretch your ankles back and forth with your hands on the ground to develop a range of motion. While extending your heels and toes, you may remain in this posture.
  • Calf raises – Begin by raising your heel off the floor, then reverse the movement and lift/point your toes toward the ceiling. Make sure your calf muscles are stretched. Hold for 30 seconds on each leg three times.
  • Burst training, HIIT exercises, or sprints of any kind (good for the whole lower body).

4. Put on the proper footwear 

Underpronators, particularly those who spend a lot of time on their feet, should wear more flexible, lightweight footwear, according to podiatrists (including runners or those who do lots of brisk walking). Light shoes, particularly those with elastic inner edges, can sustain greater ankle motion while supporting the feet. Higher-top shoes that support the ankles may be preferable for persons with unsteady, weak ankles.

Underpronation/supination will manifest itself in your sneakers or shoes, with the outside border of the shoe becoming flimsier more rapidly. Replace your footwear regularly, mainly if you work out or run often. Place your shoes on a level surface and check for the outside edge to tilt outward to discover whether you’re time for a new pair. Consider utilizing some of these inserts in addition to the correct shoes:

  • Inserts for orthotics
  • Heel-heel-heel-heel-heel (deep heel cups)
  • Insoles that prevent foot rolling on the side

You could also want to attempt easing into barefoot running, which is becoming more popular among individuals who suffer from recurring running ailments. Running barefoot may seem even riskier than running in the incorrect footwear. Still, it aids in learning good form, strengthens the ankles and feet, and increases the natural range of motion (Supination and dorsiflexion).

5. Avoiding Injuries

If you’re new to more intense forms of exercise, such as jogging, hiking, or walking uphill, or if you’re spending a longer time on your feet, keep these pointers in mind:

  • Warm-up with a vigorous stretch right away (described above). The importance of loosening the ankles and calves cannot be overstated.
  • Set a goal to practice regularly, but take breaks to prevent putting too much stress on your connective tissue. You’re more prone to develop scar tissue and slip into bad form if your feet, ankles, or legs get excessively tired or swollen.
  • Include burst training and cross-training using a variety of exercises to build your whole body rather than just your legs.
  • Select the appropriate footwear and shoes. (I cannot emphasize this enough.)
  • Keep an eye out for uneven or rough surfaces that might aggravate your form and foot discomfort.
  • Pay attention to your body. For example, take a break if the discomfort intensifies and extends up the legs.
  • Icing, massaging your calves and feet, and foam rolling are all easy techniques to recuperate and avoid swelling and stiffness after a workout.

Last Thoughts

  • The rolling action of the heels and feet when we run or walk forward is referred to as Supination or pronation. Supination refers to the outward rolling of the foot, and pronation refers to the inward rolling. Excess Supination is sometimes known as “underpronation,” It is a less prevalent issue than overpronation.
  • Ankle, leg, or heel discomfort; frequent rolling/spraining of the ankles; calf weakness and tightness; a restricted range of motion while exercising or carrying weights; and loss of functioning are all signs and symptoms of Supination.
  • Exercise and extend the ankles, calves, and lower body; wearing suitable shoes/sneakers; utilizing proper shoe inserts (orthotics), and adjusting your form while running are all-natural strategies to improve Supination.

Frequently Asked Question

What is Supination?

A: Supination is the movement of a limb or joint, such as your wrist or ankle, from pronation to Supination. It’s when one side of the body moves inward while another side moves outward. Pronation is when one part of your body, like your ankle, turns inward, and it pushes on an outside surface like you would use someone else shoulder for support.

Related Tags

  • supination surgery
  • supination exercises
  • orthotics for Supination
  • ankle supination
  • signs of Supination

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)