The kinetic chain is a term that trainers often use to describe the connection of the various components of the body that are vital for movement. Each of these components, or ‘links’ (i.e. foot, ankle, knee, hip, lumbar spine, thoracic spine, and the cervical spine) are generally termed either ‘mobile’ or ‘stable’.
At the base, or foundation, of this chain is the foot, which absorbs huge amounts of ground reaction forces even during daily activities. For example, a 65kg person experiences 1.25 times their bodyweight of ground reaction force through their foot with each step that they take. To better illustrate this point, the same 65kg person, who only walks for exercise, will experience an estimated total of over 300 million kgs of force through each foot every year!
The body’s kinetic chain will work hard to accomplish the goal we have set out for it. So if the foot is not in optimal working condition, other links in this chain attempt to compensate for the decreased capability of the foot, often leading to the entire chain’s overall detriment. One can naturally deduce then, that the better the condition of each link, the better the condition of the entire kinetic chain.
One of the most common foot alignment issues is over-pronation. When someone over-pronates, the arch of the foot ﬂattens and causes excessive stress and pressure on the soft tissues of the foot. Over-pronation is more common in those with ﬂat feet, and can lead to foot aches and pain, such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, knee pain and even lower back pain.
If you feel like you are over-pronating when you walk, a good course of action would be to seek out the help of a podiatrist. They commonly prescribe inserts for your shoes which will help restore the arch of your foot. A qualiﬁed trainer can also assist by giving you some corrective exercises that you can do in the gym or even at home. For more information on over-pronation follow the link below or come talk to Kudzai when he is on shift.
Written by Kudzai Muzorewa, Duty Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer, InnovateHPC