Simply put, pronation and supination refer to the side to side motion of your foot, while walking, running, etc. Rotating inward is pronation, while rotating outward is supination (see diagram). Collectively, the terms are usually generalized as “pronation”. Some pronation is natural and it is called functional pronation.
However, many people’s feet roll inward an excessive amount. This is called over-pronation, and can lead to a plethora of issues. Balance issues, hip, and knee pain, are all common problems associated with pronation. Correcting pronation can be the difference from suffering through a run, walk, or hike, to actually enjoying it. From back spasms while mountain biking, to “cleaning” that uphill section, pain-free.
Everybody pronates differently. Some more than others. However, many people pronate differently on each foot. We call this “asymmetrical pronation”.
“Functional pronation”, the natural/minimum amount of pronation needed for maintaining flexibility and natural shock absorption.
Brains, bones and muscles: How do you get them to work together?
Pronation is a structural collapse, while supination is a reactive muscular response to find equilibrium. By taking overpronation, and turning it into functional pronation, we reduce the energy it takes your brain, bones, and muscles to create balance.