Ribosome profiling — RNase footprinting of ribosome-bound mRNA — has been a unique and powerful method, applied to widespread organisms to survey ribosome traversal along mRNAs. In contrast to eukaryotes, bacterial ribosome footprints show a broad range of sizes, reflecting the differential states of ribosomes. However, the origin remains unclear. Here, we show that rotated state of ribosomes and intramolecular RNA duplexes each extend bacterial ribosome footprints at the 5′ end. Combining elongation inhibitors, cryo-electron microscopy, and ribosome profiling, we demonstrated that the rotated state of ribosomes results in long footprints. Along the subunit rotation, ribosomal protein S1 — a 30S-subunit RNA-binding protein — sterically protects mRNA at the 5′ end of the ribosome from RNase digestion and facilitates elongation of the ribosome. Moreover, we found that ribosomes stalled on ycbZ mRNA generate prolonged footprints because of their unique RNA secondary structure proximal to ribosomes. Through the studies of footprint extension, our results revealed S1-mediated stabilization of translation elongation and provide ribosome profiling approach to probe the conformational diversity of ribosomes in bacteria.