In order to correct overpronation, the following exercises will help you build strength in your feet and lower legs to help you develop a more natural footstrike. Particularly if your overpronation is a result of acquired technique rather than a structural deficiency, you should notice a significant improvement in form as well as resilience to injury once you’ve built up your muscles and supporting ligaments.
Walking or jogging barefoot can be one of the best methods to not only correct overpronation but to build up your foot and lower leg muscles in general. At the same time, most of us have been accustomed to wearing shoes for nearly our entire lives, so it’s best to start out slow when incorporating this exercise into your training routine.
At the beginning, pick a soft (and safe!) surface such as a soccer field or synthetic turf, and spend 5-10 minutes just walking at a normal pace. The best time to do this is after an easy run when your muscles are warm yet not overtaxed. After a few sessions of barefoot walking you should ease into light jogging, and eventually you can do 2-3 sessions of easy barefoot jogging a week after finishing your run.
While there are people who swear by barefoot running and do most of their training barefoot, many runners will develop serious injuries when pushing too far. To be safe we recommend to not overdo it, as even occasional barefoot walking or jogging can yield noticeable improvements for overpronators.
This simple exercise develops your feet and toe muscles and can be done in the comfort of your own living room. Just find a towel, put it on the floor, and spend a couple minutes scrunching the towel up with your bare toes.
Calf raises are a great way to loosen your legs up before a workout or big race, but done on a regular basis can also help develop stabilizer muscles for overpronators. While supporting yourself with your hands against a wall, simply raise yourself up on your toes, hold for two seconds, and then return to a normal standing position. Doing 3-5 sets on a regular basis will do wonders for the calves, a muscle group that distance runners usually forget about until the soreness after race day.
Golf Ball Roll
For this exercise you’ll need a golf ball and a flat surface to put it on. Roll the ball underneath your foot, and if you notice a pressure area or particular soreness, take a few seconds to massage the area with your fingers. Spend at least a couple minutes with each foot, as this exercise will help develop the weaker spots – it is these areas that you may be subconsciously favoring with your foot strike, and so building them up will help you to run more naturally.
Sit in a chair and outstretch your leg, holding it above the ground. Extend your foot and slowly rotate it in a circular motion for several rotations and then reverse direction. If you have a resistance band, use it under your foot for increased resistance.