WINTER…that one word that has the ability to disrupt our training routines.
However, let us try and beat the winter bug by heating up your exercise program by introducing an awesome exercise modality which is now is known as PROPRIOCEPTION.
So what is proprioception or more commonly known as balance?
It’s the ability to sense stimuli arising within the body regarding position, motion, and equilibrium. Even if a person is blindfolded, he or she knows through proprioception if an arm is above the head or hanging by the side of the body.
People who have good body Biomechanics have the ability to maintain proprioception and neuromuscular control. CORE training is more often than not a key aspect in the execution of proprioceptive exercises.
BENEFITS OF INCLUDING PROPRIOCEPTIVE & BALANCE TRAINING IN YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE:
- Increase neuromuscular control
- Helps in the prevention of joint injuries
- Improves joint alignment
- Promotes concentration during your exercise routine
- Variety of progressions can motivate athletes to improve their balance
- Both lower and upper body can be incorporated in to a balance training routine
- Promotes the activation of key core stabilisers of the various joints
- Can improve movement patterns in sport specific
Check out the following link for a detailed and scientific description on proprioceptive training
WHEN SHOULD YOU DO BALANCE EXERCISES?
- Proprioceptive exercises should be used after a warm up and stretch routine when the joints have sufficient blood circulation and synovial joint fluid flow.
- You can incorporate balance throughout an exercise routine
- 2 to 3 times a week
- Prior to sporting activities or any active functional training routine
- Proprioceptive training can be introduced in various stages with the recommended application being according to your joint, ligament and muscular structures ability to maintain neutral joint position.
Examples of balance exercises:
BASIC (3x 30 sec/1min)
1. Single leg stand
2. Alternating supermans
INTERMEDIATE (3 x 30 sec/1min)
1. Single leg gait on balance pad
2. Squat on bosu ball
ADVANCED (repetitions can be implemented according to athlete ability eg: 3 x 15)
1. Cable rotation with feet on hedgehog balls
2. Single leg gait on upside down bosu pull and med ball push
To get the most out of your training, consult an exercise professional to ensure that your proprioception & balance training program is customised to your training needs and ability.
So lets enjoy winter and make our exercise program hotter and more exciting!
*Written by our health and fitness guru Justin Oelofsen • Owner and exercise specialist at Just n Motion.
*Check me out on Instagram @oelofsenjustin for more cool balance exercises.