MMB – Grab N Go Green Juice

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a fabulous weekend and celebrated Father’s Day in one way or another.  I was sitting in church on Sunday and was listening to our worship pastor talk about Father’s Day and how good it is for us to show our appreciation for all of those fathers out there and to thank them for all they do for their families. 

However, I was also happy to hear him address those people in the audience, who may be hurting on Father’s Day, because Father’s Day is not always joy filled for all people.  Maybe you are one of those people, who had a less than exemplary father, or are mourning the loss of your father because he passed when you were young? Or maybe you are estranged from your father and are longing for a closer relationship?

The good news is that there is a God, who is our heavenly father, and can heal us of our wounds, hurts, and disappointments.  If this is you today, I encourage you to give God a chance and lay your burdens down at the foot of the cross.  You might be amazed at how liberating it is to let go of pain that is hung around your neck like a ball and chain.  You know I’m a work out girl and love good nutrition, but you can exercise yourself into the ground or eat a strict vegan diet and it won’t take away the pain of broken relationships or the pain of a loved one who has passed. Ask the Lord for help and invite Him into the inner depths of your heart to be transformed from the inside out and to truly find freedom!  Give God a try.  What do you have to lose?

Announcements and Reminders:

  1. Kid  Fit and Moms’ Fit Club is happening now!  Join us at 9:30am for Kid Fit and 10:00am for Moms’ Fit Club at Creekside Park in Pleasanton – 5601  W. Las Positas Blvd.  Let’s kick off our summer Mondays with fitness to start our week right.  Kid Fit is ideally for 1st through 6th grade.  If you have teens or dads, invite them along to try out the Moms’ Fit Club for a killer work out! Workouts will be scaled up, or scaled down for your fitness level!  Text me if you have questions or want to join.  925-699-7725.
  2. Moms’ Fit Club 2018

    Summer Kid Fit 2018

    3)  Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, July 1st at 7am.  Run a 5k distance combined with strength and core drills!  Beginners are welcomed!

    4)  June Veggie Challenge!  It’s time for another veggie challenge and recipe contest!  For the month of June, log all of your veggie intake.  1 cup of greens = 1 serving.  For liquid, 8oz = 1 serving.  You can eat salad, steam veggies, roast or bbq veggies, drink green juice or eat them raw!  Make sure to log all of your servings!  On Saturday, June 30th, we’ll have another recipe contest and exchange.  Winner receives a free class card!  Start working on those veggie recipes now! 

    5)  Jen’s 9th Business Celebration BBQ!  I can’t believe it’s been 9 years since Jen Allan Fitness launched!  Please mark Saturday, July 21st on your calendar for my 9th business celebration!  Time – 5:30pm to 8:30pmish.  Jen’s house!  See me for details!

    6)  NOTE:  There will be NO Cardio Fusion on Thursday, July 12th or Boot Camp on Saturday, July 14th. 

Thought for the week:  Grab N Go Green Juice

Juicing can be a pain in the butt.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely fantastic and just about the best thing you can put into your body.  However, it takes a ton of produce, can be cost prohibitive, takes time, and is very messy.  If you find that you are skipping out on drinking green juice because of any of those reasons, don’t despair!  There are other ways to drink green juice that are more convenient and will still allow you to gain the benefits of juicing!

I was at Costco over the weekend and was very pleased to see that Suja is offering their Uber Greens juice for $12.99 per case with six bottles!  That’s just a little over $2 per bottle!  I’ve been buying green juice from Trader Joe’s and spending $4 per bottle, which can add up with a family of four! 

I like the fact that this recipe of green juice only has 5 grams of sugar and is 40 calories for the 10.5 fl. oz.  bottle.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the Trader Joe’s blend and $4 is actually fairly decent for the cost of a bottle of green juice.  When I was in New York, grab n go green juices were about $8.50 per bottle!  However, it’s a pretty good deal to find a 6 pack for $12.99 with a great juice blend!

So, if you can make your way out to Costco, look for the cases of Suja in the refrigerated section along with the Kombucha.  It would be a great idea to pick up both!  Be kind to your gut because it’s the only one you have!


See you in class soon!


MMB – 1/2 the Year Check-In

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are walking into your Monday feeling refreshed and energized!  Great job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week!  I know some of you are breathing a sigh of relief as your end of year school commitments are behind you and you can enjoy an easier pace of summer!  I would encourage you to carve out some time for self care and get back on track with good nutrition, sleep, solid work outs, and taking in positive vibes! 

MMB-Let’s Keep it Going!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  Are you enjoying the beautiful weather?!  I hope so!  This is the time of year to get outside and get moving and grooving!  Great job to everyone who made it out to classes this past week.  I know this is a super busy time of year with year end activities wrapping up in sports and school, so any time you can carve out for your fitness time is huge! 

MMB – Summer is in the Air!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had an amazing Memorial Day Weekend and had a great time with your family and friends!  Great job to everyone who came out to classes this past week.  I know this is a crazy, busy time of year with year end school and sports events.  So, I know when you come out and make it to class, that you are striving towards your health and pushing through the challenges of a busy schedule.  Some of you even came out for Running Boot Camp yesterday, so bravo for Memorial Day fitness!

MMB – Spring Fitness Challenge is Over!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had an awesome weekend!  Great effort by everyone who attended classes this past week.  Thanks to everyone for being flexible on Tuesday and Thursday nights due to the baseball “flex” schedule LOL!  Depending on how baseball goes tonight, I’ll let you all know if Tuesday or Thursday’s classes will be altered.

The Spring Fitness Challenge for 2018 is a wrap!  I know I threw some tough timed challenge courses at you guys, but you rose to the top and pushed through physically difficult moments.  For those of you who attended on a regular basis, how do you feel now?  Do you feel stronger?  Can you tell that your stamina has improved?  As a trainer, it’s always very rewarding for me when I have the privilege to train you and can see the results.  Excellent effort by everyone who made it out on a regular basis!

For the fitness tests, here are a few of the highlights:

1 minute push-up test: 

1st place – Joanne Vieira – 69

2nd place – Ken Vieira – 55

3rd place – Dave Thompson – 44

1 minute sit up test:

1st place – Cliff Donnelly 36 on week #1 and 40 on week #6

2nd place – Kathleen Jacobs 29

3rd place – Ken Vieira & Heather Thompson 26

1 minute frog jumps:

1st place – Marcey Donnelly 29 on week #1 and 38 on week #6 (most improved)

2nd place – Joanne Vieira 55

3rd place – Ken Vieira 45


Weight & Measurement Challenge:

1st place – Christina Mantha lost 7 lbs & 1% point in body fat Wins 4 Class Card!

2nd place – Christy Stevens lost 5 lbs & 2% points in body fat & 3 inches around hips

3rd place – Cliff Donnelly lost 4 lbs 1.5% points in body fat & 1 inch lost around waist and hips


Announcements and Reminders:

1)  Memorial Day Running Boot Camp is on Monday, May 28th at 8am!  Mark your calendars now.

2) Cardio Core on Tuesday night – 5:45 (room for 3 more), 6:55 (room for 3 more), 7:35 (room for 3 more)  Please text or e-mail me if you’d like to join in.  Stay tuned if there is a class time change too due to baseball playoffs.

3) Kid Fit and Moms’ Fit Club is starting on Monday, June 4th!  Mark your calendars for some summer fitness with you and your kids!  1st through 6th grade PE is at 9:30am to 10:00am & Moms’ Fit Club (men and teens are welcomed) is 10:00am to 10:30am!  Classes are held at Creekside Park in Pleasanton.  Bring some friends along and let’s get moving and grooving this summer! See flyer below!

Kid Fit and Moms’ Fit Club Flyers!

Summer Kid Fit 2018

Moms’ Fit Club 2018


See you in classes soon!




MMB – Green Hope in New York!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope all of you mothers out there had an awesome Mother’s Day and feel celebrated and appreciated!  As many of you know, I was away this weekend in New York City, so I wasn’t around to teach boot camp.  How did Saturday go for you guys?  Did anyone try the boot camp challenge from my blog?  I want to give a special shout out to Joanne and Ken Vieira because they did the entire boot camp in about 55 minutes!  Lynnda Phillbrook also gave it a shot and completed one cycle of the boot camp in about 29 minutes.  Way to go Joanne, Ken, and Lynnda!  Did anyone else try?  I’d love to hear about it!

MMB – A “Challenge” Work Out For Home!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you are walking into your Monday feeling energized and ready to take on the week!  This past Saturday was the 5th Spring Fitness Challenge and you guys rocked it out there!  There were eight stations that made up a killer circuit and included; monster band squat and presses, slamming med balls and oblique throws, Dynamax wall balls, burpees w/ med ball tricep push-ups, Renegade Rowing, Russian Twists and lots of running!  You guys were dripping with sweat and gave it your all by the end! 

MMB – Kid Fit & Moms’ Fit Club!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you are walking into your Monday feeling energized and ready to take on the week!  This past Saturday was the 4th Spring Fitness Challenge and you guys rocked it!  There were a variety of difficult stations you had to conquer including; stairs and sandbags, renegade rows w/push-ups, curls and presses, Jen Jolts (50 jacks, 40 jump ropes, 30 jump squats, 20 push-ups, and 10 mountain climbers), obstacle course w/walking planks & push-ups, leaping, jumping, agility ladder drills, and cardio drills.  Oh….and jog/sprints and lots of running!  Challenges are just that….they are challenging and meant to push and motivate you to the next level!  You guys are rocking it and I’m super proud of you!

MMB – Why Detox?

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  Have you stepped outside yet?  Oh my goodness, it’s like a summer morning out there!  After I write this blog, I’m going to head out with the boys and get some morning fitness in to kick off the day!  I hope you find time to get out and move today too!

This past Saturday was the 3rd Spring Fitness Challenge and it was all about “The 500” & “The 300”!  I bet you are wondering what those are? I’m glad you asked!  The 500 is made up of five training circuits that include 100 exercises each.  For example, a block might be 25 push-ups, 25 jump squats, 25 burpees, and 25 star jacks.  These blocks are meant to be multi-muscle group firing, which means that you are using your entire body to complete each set of exercises.  Low impact exercises are also shown so that everyone can participate at their own ability. 

Once a block has been completed, the boot camper must run for two minutes. After the run, the boot camper takes on the next block until all five blocks and five runs are completed and the boot camper has conquered The 500! 

For my 30 minute boot camps, reps are reduced to 15 per exercise so that the format can fit within a 30-minute boot camp and thus, The 300 is the goal!  Either way, The 500 & The 300 are guaranteed to maximize your effort by building muscle, training fast twitch muscle fibers, utilizing and taxing the core, and weaving in burst training to burn calories and shed fat!  Woo hoo!  That’s exciting fitness and it’s why we gather together on Saturday mornings to kick off the weekend!  If you haven’t tried one of these formats, don’t wait any longer.  Come join us!

Here are the winners from Saturday:

7am The 500:

1st place – Christina Mantha with a 17:40.

2nd place – Joanne Vieira with a 19:52.

3rd place – Lisa Dillon with a 20:34.


8:05am The 300:

1st place – Cliff Donnelly with a 17:21

2nd place – Debbie Robison with a 17:54.

3rd place – Heather Thompson with a 18:05.


Congratulations to all of the boot campers who showed up and put the hard work in.  You are all winners in my book! 


1st place winner of The 500 – Christina Mantha!!   Way to go Christina!!


1st place winner of The 300 – Cliff Donnelly!  Way to go Cliff!!


Announcements and Reminders:

1)  Cardio Core on Tuesday at Jen’s Studio:  There are (2) spots open at 5:45pm, (3) spots open at 6:55pm, and (3) spots open at 7:35pm.  Please text or e-mail me to sign up for this fun filled class on a Tuesday night!

2)  Spring Fitness Challenge – We are 1/2 way through The Challenge!  If you weighed in, how are you doing with your nutrition?  You might want to weigh yourself at home and check in.  If the scale hasn’t moved, it might be time to shake something up.  How are your portion sizes?  Are you eating too much at night?  Snacking on empty calorie snacks?  Are you drinking enough water?  Think through some of these things and be honest with yourself.  I’d be happy to do a 20 minute check in with Jen to help you with this. 

3)  Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, May 6th at 7am.  Mark your calendars for another Running Boot Camp!  Class is 60 minutes and starts from my house.  Drop in cost is $15.

4)  Cardio Fusion is at VBC this week.  Bring your kettle bells!


Thought for the week:  Why detox?

Many of us have heard of detoxing, but why should we do it and how should we do it?  This list from might help:

1. Remove toxins from the body.

Long-term exposure to toxins (environmental pollutants, cancer-causing chemicals, preservatives, pesticides, heavy metals, and industrial waste) affects our metabolism, behavior, immune system, and leads to disease. They are stored in tissues and cells throughout the body, including the brain, often for years – yikes!

2. Prevent chronic disease.

Environmental toxins are responsible for many cancers, neurological diseases, heart disease, strokes… you name it. Our bodies do have a built-in detox function to deal with these dangers, but those systems are constantly overloaded! Detoxing assists and improves what our bodies are trying to do naturally.

3. Enhance immune system function.

A compromised immune system makes us vulnerable to colds and flus, affecting our quality of life and productivity. Regular detoxing helps strengthen immune system functioning and fights off infection.

4. Lose weight.

Toxins affect the body’s natural ability to burn fat, leading to weight gain. Diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure are directly linked to weight issues. Detoxing rids the body of toxins stored in fat cells and increases metabolism.

5. Slow premature aging.

Detoxing rids the body of free radicals and heavy metals partially responsible for aging. Detoxing helps to increase nutrient absorption, including antioxidants and vitamins that help fight oxidative stress.

6. Improve quality of life.

Simply put, our bodies don’t function very well when they’re loaded with toxins. We may have joint pain, headaches, digestive disorders, sleep problems, and lack of energy. Depression may be eased and memory may be improved as a result of detoxification!

7. Increase energy.

You will have more mental, physical, and emotional energy after detoxing. People tend to sleep better and need less of it.

8. Improve skin quality.

Diet and environmental toxins undeniably affect skin. Detoxing improves acne, and strengthens hair and nails, and gives us a natural, healthy glow.

9. Mental and emotional clarity.

When the body’s systems are aligned, a shift also occurs with our mental and emotional states. We can deal with more when we’re clear and grounded. We can make better decisions, analyze accurately, and see things differently.

10. Restore balance to our body’s systems.

Our digestive, nervous, and hormonal systems were designed to work together to achieve optimum health. This is what our bodies want to do! When we overload them with toxins and unhealthy foods, these systems don’t work as well as they should and we get sick.

Detoxing brings balance back and helps our systems function properly again.


So, what are some ways we can detox? 

Check out this list from  Happy detoxing!

Our bodies can become overwhelmed due to the volume of toxins exposed in its environment by way of water (fluoride and other chemicals), air (chemical trails, pollution and other toxins), food (chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, genetically modified ingredients etc.), pharmaceuticals and other drugs.

True healing requires a detoxification of both the mind and the body. Below are 10 ways you can help your body detoxify naturally so it can flush out some of the everyday toxins to which it’s exposed:

1. Start the day with a glass of spring water and the juice of one freshly squeezed lemon.

This helps flush out the toxins and alkalizes the body. Alternatively, you can add a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of spring water. Hippocrates treated his patients with apple cider vinegar. He found it was a powerful cleansing and healing elixir, a naturally occurring antibiotic and antiseptic that fights germs and bacteria, for a healthier, stronger, and longer life.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day to continue flushing out the toxins.

2. Drink a freshly made vegetable juice daily.

Include lots of greens such as kale, spinach and cilantro. I love to start my day with a juice made with apples, carrot, lemon, ginger, turmeric, beetroot, kale and cilantro. When the seasons change, some of my ingredients will also change.

3. Eliminate toxic oils from your diet.

Toxic oils can include vegetable oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, cotton seed oil and canola oil. Substitute with good oils, such as extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, hemp oil and flaxseed oil. Hemp oil, for example, is a great source of omega-3s, -6s, and -9s.

4. Drink green tea and herbal teas such as dandelion, nettles etc.

These teas help the body detoxify and clear out toxins.

5. Eat more raw fruits, herbs and vegetables.

Fruit, vegetables and herbs contain enzymes that aid digestion and improve nutrient absorption.

6. Minimize or eliminate white sugar intake.

Also avoid substitutes that contain toxic artificial sweeteners, and opt for natural versions such as stevia, honey, coconut sugar, date sugar, molasses, or maple syrup.

7. Minimize or eliminate white flour and white breads.

White flour is like adding glue in the body, and it overworks the digestive system. It can cause digestive disorders, and it can make it difficult to have normal bowel movements.

Substitute white flour for other flours such as spelt flour, kamut flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour or cornmeal. Switch from white bread to whole grain bread.

8. Take a probiotic supplement.

You can also eat foods that contain live cultures, such as cultured vegetables, Greek yogurt, or kefir. The beneficial bacteria kill harmful bacteria and yeasts and help to heal the lining of the intestines.

9. Eat legumes and less meat, fish and poultry.

Legumes are a great source of protein and the fiber in beans helps keep the bowels eliminating properly.

10. Breath deeply, walk, smile, laugh, be happy and remove toxic people out of your life.

Find the positive in every day and move your body. This will all help to reduce stress and the stress chemicals in your body.

MMB – Do You Supinate or Pronate?

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  First of all, excellent effort by everyone who attended boot camp on Saturday and Running Boot Camp on Sunday!  It was a big weekend of fitness – yahoo!  It was also the 2nd Spring Fitness Challenge and once again, you guys rose to the challenge and put in the sweat effort and gave it 110%.  I’m very proud of how hard all of you have been working and know that the seeds you are sowing into your health will produce an abundance crop of vibrant living! 

For this past Saturday, I incorporated a military style timed obstacle course that included:  sprinting, jumping, leaping, crawling, tubing resisted push-ups, burpees, & med ball slams.  Wowza!  Tough stuff!  The 60 minute crew had an additional challenge with a 90 second run after each cycle of the obstacle course was completed.  Here are the rankings:

7am crew:

1st place – Kim Mehr  – 5 1/4 obstacle courses completed in 30 minutes.

2nd place – Ken Vieira – 4 1/2 obstacle courses completed in 30 minutes.

3rd place – Joanne Vieira, Lynnda Philbrook, Kathy Schalin – 4 1/4 obstacle courses completed in 30 minutes.


8:05am crew:

1st place – Genis Hamilton – 6 obstacle courses completed in 20 minutes. note:  This was Genis’ first time at boot camp! Awesome job!

2nd place – Heather Thompson, Christy Stevens, Kathleen Jacobs – 4 obstacle courses completed in 20 minutes.

3rd place – Marcey Donnelly, Cliff Donnelly, Debbie Robison, Erin Campbell – 3 obstacle courses completed in 20 minutes.


Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday – 5:45pm is full.  6:55pm (3 spots available), 7:35pm (2 spots available)  Please e-mail or text me to sign up.  See you Tuesday at my home studio!


  1. Cardio Fusion is CX for this Thursday.  I am cancelling class because I’ll be enjoying a birthday dinner out with my hubby!  The weather should be beautiful, so I encourage you to get outside and find a park to do a version of jogging/running boot camp and incorporate body weight training with squats, lunges, push-ups and bench step ups.  Think 3 minutes of cardio, and then 3 minutes of strength and core.  You can do it!  Let’s keep the momentum going!


  1. Summer Kid Fit and Moms’ Fit Club are around the corner!  Once again, I’ll be offering a morning fitness program at Creekside Park in Pleasanton beginning on Monday, June 4th at 9am.  Traditionally, I have taught a Kid Fit program for 1st through 5th grade.  If you have a middle schooler in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, please let me know if you would be interested in a fitness program for middle schoolers.  If there is enough interest, I will be offering a Kid Fit program for 1st through 5th, and another for 6th – 8th, and Moms’ Fit Club too!  These classes will incorporate cardio, strength, core, and lots of drills and games for the kids that will keep them engaged and exercising too!  I can’t wait to teach your kids!


  1. Next Running Boot Camp is Sunday, May 6th at 7am.  Mark your calendars for the next Running Boot Camp!  Class is 60 minutes long and meets at Jen’s house.  Beginners are welcomed!


Thought for the week:  Do You Supinate or Pronate? 

Probably one of the major areas I address in personal training is the issue of supination or pronation.  It’s no fun having pain in and around your ankles, knees, or hips.  If you are suffering from in any of these areas, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at your symptoms and carve out some time to foam roll, stretch, and strengthen properly to help correct the program.  Dr. Josh Axe always has a variety of helpful articles and advice in many areas of health.  He’s an avid runner and triathlete too, so he knows his stuff.  Check out this article he put together on how to identify if you supinate or pronate.  The wear patterns on your shoes will give you information about if you supinate or pronate.  It’s a long article, but I think the information is very straight foward and helpful.  Let me know your thoughts and if you need help in these areas.

See you soon!


Do You Suffer from Excess Supination? Warning Signs & Remedies for This Running Problem

Supination - Dr. Axe

Both supination and pronation are terms used to describe the rolling motion of the heels and feet during the body’s gait cycle, which takes place as we run or walk. Supination describes the rolling outward motion of the foot, therefore oversupinators don’t roll their root inward enough. Excess supination is also called “underpronation” — since supination is the opposite of pronation of the foot (rolling inward). (1) Both oversupination and overpronation put too much stress on the underneath or outside edges of the foot, often leading to leg pains.

For most adults, too little supination is usually more of a problem than too much, but oversupinating the foot can also lead to complications. Who tends to struggle with supination problems most often? Runners with high arches (the opposite of “flat feet” or collapsed arches) and tight Achilles tendons tend to be underpronators/supinators. (2)

Some of the aches and pains associated with supination abnormalities include: rolling or spraining the ankle, developing “hammertoes” (clawed toes), Achilles tendinitis, running injuries like plantar fasciitis, shin splints, iliotibial band syndrome affecting the knees, along with general instability and weakness. 

The reason underpronation (or someone with excess supination) causes such an array of problems is that the muscles in the legs and feet become trained to push the foot away from the ground with mostly the outer toes/pinky toes. Considering these are generally weak areas of the feet, they tend to bear more weight and pressure than they can handle, sometimes causing scar tissue to form. Other overuse-injuries can occur, too. You can see why it’s not just the feet that are impacted by supination or related postural problems — but rather these can contribute to muscular compensations that wind up affecting the entire body. 

What Is Supination?

Supination (underpronation) is the insufficient inward rolling of the foot after landing on the ground.  Compared to those with “normal,” healthy posture of the lower body, those with oversupination roll the foot outward too much (less than 15 percent of an inward roll when landing). This causes the ankle and only a small portion of the outer toes to absorb shock when the foot hits the ground, often triggering pain in the ankle, foot and lower leg. (3)

As the body moves, in order to accept weight onto one leg and propel forward, a shift in weight must occur at the feet, knees and hips. A natural amount of supination occurs during the push-off phase when propelling forward. Supination helps the heel lift away from the ground which brings the forefoot and toes down to land in a way that moves the body. However too much supination contributes to common running injuries due to instability in the ankles. Weak ankles set the scene for postural problems, as well, like too much pressure applied to susceptible areas of the lower legs and higher risk for spraining. (4)

Supination - Dr. Axe

Preserving proper alignment through the midline of the body, all the way from the head to the toes — by keeping the feet symmetrical and rolling them properly — is crucial for learning normal weight transference which protects the whole body, including the spine.

Causes & Symptoms of Supination Problems

Some of the reasons that people develop abnormalities related to pronation, supination, dorsiflexion and other motions of the feet or legs include:

  • Genetics (genetics affect the length of the legs, width of the feet, stability of the ankles and curvature of the foot’s arches, for example)
  • Walking on flat, hard surfaces (rather than natural terrain)
  • Wearing worn-out shoes, or those that are unsupportive
  • Muscular compensations due to poor posture in the legs, sacrum and spine
  • Old injuries, including ankles sprains, stress fractures in the legs or tendon tears, which can leave scar tissue behind that causes instability
  • Poor form when running or exercising
  • Overuse, including exercising too much or standing for long periods
  • Limited range of motion and stiffness due to aging
  • Loose ligaments or loss of cartilage in the joints of the feet or ankles (such as those of the subtalar joint)
  • In some cases, leg discrepancy (legs are different lengths)
  • Weakness in the ankles or lower body from too little activity (a sedentary lifestyle)

Here are some common signs that you’re likely an over-supinator (underpronator): (5)

  • Frequent ankle sprains
  • Pain underneath the feet (in the ball of the foot) or pain often in the ankles
  • Clawed toes/hammertoes
  • Throbbing or weakness gets worse when running, walking, exercising or standing for a long time
  • Dysfunctional musculoskeletal problems in the ankles, calves, outer thighs or knees
  • Swelling in the ankle, foot or heel. Sometimes the toes are affected as well and develop calluses or bunions
  • Loss of functionality and reduced range of motion in the lower body

Supination vs. Dorsiflexion

  • Supination and dorsiflexion are terms related to motion and stability of the feet and ankles (they can sometimes also be applied to other body parts that bend back, like the hands).
  • Deviations (abnormal amounts) of ankle supination or dorsiflexion are usually used to describe form and postural problems that cause common running injuries when the foot strikes the ground. These can include injuries like: plantar fasciitis or shin splints, runner’s knee, heel spurs, and Achilles tendon pains, among others.
  • While supination describes the outward rolling motion of the foot, dorsiflexion describes the bending backward of the foot. Dorsiflexion decreases the angle between the foot and the ankle; in other words it means the toes are lifting up and away from the ground, toward the ankle/body. (6)
  • Proper dorsiflexion is also needed to bring the knees over the ankles, such as when bending over, squatting or jumping forward.
  • Abnormal dorsiflexion, or backward flexion of the foot, is a common problem related to not only running injuries but those caused during other sports/exercises. Proper mobility of the ankle is crucial for allowing the body to propel forward, especially when jumping, sprinting or running quickly.
  • Without enough ankle dorsiflexion, it’s also hard to sustain proper form when performing resistance training using the knees, such as squatting or lifting weights. The torso can’t remain vertical due to stiffness in the ankles (too little dorsiflexion), therefore you can’t keep a neutral spine. The knees can also cave in, which adds stress to the back.
  • On the other hand, too much dorsiflexion is also problematic. Stability is equally important in the ankles, because too much motion due to weakness in the muscles and joints of the feet can contribute to ankle rolling or spraining, along with symptoms of runner’s knee.

Conventional Treatments for Supination Problems (Underpronation)

If your orthopedic, physical therapist, trainer or another doctor sees signs of abnormal supination or dorsiflexion in your feet, they will likely recommend improving your form and wearing more supportive shoes with inserts. Changing your sneakers/shoes when exercising is usually the first step, which makes orthotics even more effective. 

Orthotic inserts used in sneakers or shoes consist of arch support and sometimes a lifted heel to control the rolling-forward motion of the foot. They can take pressure off the small toes, and help stabilize the ankle. This is beneficial for protecting the knees and back during movements such as running or lifting weights. Consider using orthotics if your doctor thinks they might be helpful for improving comfort during standing for long periods, for low back pain relief or for reducing heel pain. In the case that pain becomes very bad, you may also want to take an anti-inflammatory medication temporarily (such as over-the-counter ibuprofen) to decrease swelling and tissue/joint inflammation in the feet or ankles. (Of course, adding in anti-inflammatory foods and natural painkillers are options, too.)

Depending on how severe your supination problem is, your doctor might also recommend physical therapy. Physical therapy can “reteach” your muscles and joints how to distribute your weight in a healthier way, starting from your feet upward, allowing you to sustain proper form all the way through your sacrum, pelvis and spine.

5 Natural Ways to Create Proper Supination

1. Fix Your Form

Here are some tips for helping you to correct your stance, which is the groundwork for learning proper running/walking form. Proper form and posture through the spine are especially important when adding extra pressure or weight to the feet, such as when you’re lifting weights or sprinting very fast.

  • When running or walking fast, aim to lower the feet with a soft landing. Some try to image “running on eggshells” or attempting to run on water. Remain light on your feet instead of pounding the feet too hard onto the ground.
  • Focus on landing closer to your midfoot, rather than at the back of the heel. Try to land with a mostly flat foot, attempting to avoid too much curving of the toes inward or outward, or landing too much to the side of the foot).
  • Slightly increase your cadence and potentially shorten your stride to keep proper form in the feet and legs.
  • Run with upright posture through your back and stay relaxed.

2. Stretch to Loosen Tight Muscles (Including the Ankles)

Supinators should do extra stretching for the calves, hamstrings, quads, and iliotibial band (basically the whole leg). Gently stretching/mobilizing muscles in the legs helps break up adhesions and allows you to sustain proper form more easily. (7) Stretching the ankles can also improve dorsiflexion, or ankle mobility/stability. Studies have found that people with reccurent ankle sprains can benefit significantly from performing weight-bearing exercises and stretches of the ankles/low body. (8)

Many soft tissue therapists and physical therapists recommend starting any activity by massaging sore feet, loosening the ankles and stretching tight calves. And since weak, stiff ankles are often one of the major contributing factors that cause supination problems, you can also add some of these leg stretches to your regular workouts:

  • Use a foam roller on the floor, positioning your body on top so the roller is under your calves, then moving back and forth gently. You can practice the same on the back or sides of the calves too. Roll the area and hold tender spots for 30 to 60 seconds, repeating up to five times every day. This should be done right before stretching.
  • Try massaging the fascia (soft tissue) in the underpart of the feet with a tennis ball under the foot, as you roll around while applying mild pressure.
  • Get into pushup position, then walk your feet forward slightly to come onto the balls of your feet (holding an upside down “V” with your body). Lift the heels away from the ground as you balance on the balls of your feet, then lower them back down again. Repeat about 10 times, more than once a day if you’d like.
  • As you lay on your back, lift the legs in the air and flex the ankles back and forth. Or make small circles (turning toes towards your body and away). Repeat for several minutes.
  • Place your toes up against a wall, tilting the toes back towards the body. This releases the ankles and opens up the calves.
  • Use a resistance band (also known as exercise band) wrapped around the ankle to gently pump and improve ankle flexibility. (9)
  • Do basic heel raises by raising and lowering your heels and toes to the ground, then back up. Do 10 to 15 at a time. Try using a step if you’d like.
  • Sitting up on one shin, bend the opposite knee and slowly bring the knee past the ankle, rocking the knee back and forth to improve dorsiflexion.
  • Stand with straight legs and bend forward from the waist to touch the floor or shins. This helps stretch the hamstrings. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. You can also keep your legs wide apart with toes facing outward slightly to loosen the inner leg and hamstrings.

3. Strengthen The Leg Muscles For More Support

Strength-building leg exercises to help reduce muscular weakness in the ankles and calves include:

  • Squats — All types of squats require proper mobility and stability in the ankles (dorsiflexion) but also increase strength in just about every part of the legs. Try basic squats, or squatting while lifting weight overhead. Keep the tailbone tucked and core tight to protect the back.
  • Lunges — Side lunges, lunge dips or lunge twists.
  • Crab crawls — Bend your knees and bring your hands behind you, squatting down in front of your arms. Use your hands on the ground to help you stretch the ankles back and forth to increase range of motion. You can stay in this position while stretching the heels and toes.
  • Calf raises — Perform gentle calf raises by lifting your heel off the floor, then reversing and lifting/pointing the toes toward the ceiling. Make sure you feel a stretch in your calf muscle. Hold for 30 seconds, three times per leg.
  • Doing any type of burst-training, HIIT workouts or sprints (good for the whole lower body)

4. Wear the Right Shoes (Not Worn-Out Sneakers!)

Podiatrists usually recommend more flexible, lightweight sneakers for underpronators, especially those who spend lots of time on their feet (including runners or those who do lots of brisk walking). Lightweight shoes can withstand more motion of the ankle while still supporting the feet, especially those with flexible inner edges. For people with wobbly, weak ankles, higher-top sneakers that stabilize the ankles might be a better choice.

Signs of underpronation/supination will show up in your sneakers or shoes, usually causing the outer edge of the shoe to become flimsy more quickly. Replace your sneakers regularly, especially if you exercise or run often. To see if you’re due for a new pair, place your shoes down on a flat surface and look for the outer edge to tilt outward. In addition to wearing the right shoes, consider using some of these inserts:

  • Orthotic inserts
  • Inserts to lift the heels (deep heel cups)
  • Lateral insoles that stop foot rolling

You may also want to consider easing into barefoot running — a phenomena growing in popularity amongst those with recoccurent running injuries. Running barefoot may seem even riskier than wearing the wrong sneakers, but it actually helps the feet learn proper form more easily, builds strength throughout the ankles and feet, and helps increase natural range of motion (supination and dorsiflexion).

5.  Begin Exercise Gradually & Rest to Prevent Injuries

If you’re new to more vigorous types of exercising — such as running, hiking or walking uphill — or spending more time on your feet, try to keep these tips in mind:

  • Aways warm up with a dynamic stretch (described above). Loosening the ankles and calves is most important.
  • Set a goal to practice consistently, but give yourself rest in between to avoid adding too much stress to connective tissue. If your feet, ankle or leg muscles become too fatigued or swollen, you’ll be more likely to develop scar tissue and fall into improper form.
  • Incorporate burst training and cross-train using different exercises to strengthen all over, instead of only certain leg muscles.
  • Choose the right sneakers and shoes. (I can’t stress this enough.)
  • Watch out for uneven or hard surfaces that may be making your form and foot pain worse.
  • Listen to your body. Take time off if pain worsens and spreads up the legs.
  • After workouts, icing, massaging your calves and feet, plus foam rolling are simple ways to recover and help prevent swelling and tightness.

Precautions When Treating Supination

If foot/ankle pain gets worse and lasts for more than several days, or you find that the exercises above don’t help prevent ankle rolling, talk to a doctor about correcting your stance with orthotics. Always be careful when beginning any new exercise program, watch out for signs of inflammation and overuse and consider seeing a therapist who specializes in soft tissue therapies if supination/dorsiflexion is an ongoing problem.

Final Thoughts on Supination

  • Supination and pronation are terms used to describe the rolling motion of the heels and feet as we run or walk forward. Supination describes the rolling outward motion of the foot, while pronation describes the rolling inward. Excess supination is also called “underpronation,” a less common problem compared to overpronation.
  • Signs and symptoms of oversupinating include ankle, leg or heel pain; frequent rolling/spraining of the ankles, calf weakness and tightness, reduced range of motion when exercising or lifting weights and loss of functionality.
  • Natural ways to improve supination include exercising and stretching the ankles, calves and lower body; wearing proper shoes/sneakers; using proper shoe inserts (orthotics); and correcting your form when running.