Proprioception is also referred to as kinesthesia. It is the capacity to sense and move the body and limbs freely in the external environment. Possession of this awareness of kinesthetic is critical for daily living and crucial for sports performance. In the event that an individual has realized the difference between concert and grass beneath their feet.
Or felt the weight change of a grocery bag as it is being filled, then that individual has experienced proprioception. Kinesthesia could become worse as individuals get older, suffer an injury, or contracted a disease. It makes everyday activities difficult and amplifies the chance of falls and injury. Luckily, adding proprioception workouts to the regimen could reduce the chance of injury, and also enhance the fitness levels.
The Relationship Between Proprioception & Balance
Balance is the capacity to sustain the center of gravity over a specific base of support. An individual’s ability to balance derives from three sensory inputs. Proprioception or touch, vision or eyesight, and vestibular system or spatial orientation, equilibrium, and motion. These inputs transmit signals to the brain in order to sort and integrate sensory information. The brain would then send a message to the muscles which are responsible for movement. Such as the legs, trunk, arms, neck, and eyes to assist in maintaining vision and balance of the environment.
Kinesthesia is an element of the body’s balance system and informs the individual of the position of their body in space, the quantity f force acting on the body, or the approximate force required to perform a task, for example picking up a heavy object.
Finally, training your proprioception and balance is critical for decreasing the risk of falls and injury while enhancing your athletic capabilities. Following are at-home exercises that are able to enhance proprioception. If the individual also struggles with balance, individuals might wish to be close to a wall or have a partner close at hand for support.
One Leg Balance Test
Stand with the feet hip-width apart and the hands on the hips. Shift the weight onto the left foot and lift the other foot just a few inches off of the ground. Remain in this position for roughly thirty seconds and then alternate sides. Repeat this exercise approximately, two to three times.
One Leg 3 Way Kick
Stand placing the feet hip-width apart and the hands on the hips. Lift the right foot just a few inches off the ground, so that you are standing on the left foot only. Remain in this position for roughly two to three seconds, and then go back to the start position. Repeat the above as the right leg is lifted to the side of the body and then behind the body. Switch legs and follow the same steps. Complete this exercise two to three times on each leg.
While performing this exercise, try to engage the core and utilize the hamstrings and buttocks in order to assist in balancing. Stand on one foot, placing the hands on the hips, and place a cone about two feet in front of you. While under control, bend the hips and reach out in front of you in order to grab the cone. Permit the leg left to extend backward while reaching. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise in order to place the cone back on the ground. Switch legs and continue this exercise another three or four times.
Stand with the feet about shoulder or hip-width apart. Place your hands on the hips. Alter your weight so that it is on the leg foot and take a big step backward with the right foot. Ensure that the ball of the right foot is touching the ground and the heel is up. Then lower the right leg to the point that the thigh is perpendicular to the ground and the knee of the right foot is roughly at a ninety-degree angle. The knee of the left leg should also be at a ninety-degree angle. Put pressure towards the heel or push into the heel and tighten the glutes in order to return to the start position. Complete this exercise eight to twelve times, alternating legs each time.
The starting position is on all fours, with the knees in line with the hips and the shoulders in line with the hands. Ensure that the back and the neck area in a neutral and natural position. Extend the left arm forward and the right leg backward, as the right arm and the left leg remain on the ground for support. Remain in this position for about three to four seconds, then change arms and legs. Repeat this movement for eight to twelve rotations.
Place the feet about hip-width apart and the hands come together in front of the chest. Place your weight onto the left leg and lift the right leg off the ground. Bend the knee of the right leg outwards and place the right foot on the inner thigh of the left leg. If you are unable to reach the thigh, place it on the inner calf. Remain in this position for about twenty seconds, or until you cannot hold it any longer. Switch legs afterward.
Place a piece of tape in a straight line roughly three to six feet long on the ground. If not use a long piece of rope or string. Stand with the feet about hip-width apart and the hands-on the hips. Put the left foot on the line or next to the rope or string. Place the right foot directly in front of the leg foot resembling walking a tightrope. Walk to the end of the line or rope without stepping off to the side. Once you reach the end, turn around and walk it again. Repeat this movement three to four times.