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Improve the control of your body with Proprioception

Proprioception is 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.

This ability is fundamental in the complex mechanism of controlling our own body, and it is allowed by the proprioception receptors, sensible to the variations of our body postures and of the signals sent by our body parts which constantly send messages to the brain.

The proprioception allows a constant communication between internal and external environments, sorting out info from muscles, tendons and central nervous system to guarantee balance and comfort. This lets us know our position even if eyes are closed and allowing us to react to external stimulus.

The proprioceptive education is very important to us in order to give consciousness of a static or dynamic status and it is very useful, not only in case of a preventive training plan but also as a rehab path after an injury.

After a trauma in fact, there is a particular psycho-physical condition and such sensibility may be lacking because the communication web between central nervous system and muscles is messed up and the body reactions are not appropriate.

There are specific exercises that help to re-establish the right connections or re-educate responses and regain a perfect control of the organism and the specific body part (such as a twisted ankle) with continuous stimulus.

Looking at training programs, many times PT put in their training plans proprioception exercises to gain better muscle control and strength to get ready for practice on uneven surfaces such as snow.

You can use balance boards to optimize wrong athletic gestures and prevent from injuries: the proprioceptive exercise is a neuromotor stimulation overall.

There are many different ways to train such ability: boards, balls, stabilizers, bouncers, skymmi, bosu, fitball, woodboards, tennis balls etc etc..

Such exercises can also be done barefoot, to enhance the difficulty and for a better stimulation of balance, strength and agility.

My suggestion is to train correctly for the ski season with some simple exercises:

  1. TWO LEGS: Maintain the balance in static position for 40 seconds/1 minute.
  2. SINGLE LEG: Get on the board or ball with one single foot while keeping the other one close to the body trying to keep the balance, the longer the better. Switch foot.
  3. BOUNCING A BALL: Find a backet or volley ball and bounce it maintaining control for at least 2 minutes. Start off bouncing the ball on the floor and later on in the air, like in a volley ball match. The better you get the harder the exercise can be, try to bounce the ball on the wall and catch it…always balancing on the board.