Proprioceptive exercises are exercises done in unstable environments. Doing such trains the body to develop neuromuscular control. That translates to increased balance and the ability to function independently without support. Whether it be in physical therapy or personal training, developing a fundamental foundation is necessary before progressing.
Proprioceptive exercises are also good for advanced athletes. Sometimes, in high-intensity activities, the body can develop asymmetrical functions. Therefore, exercises in unstable environments can help restore symmetry.
Here are 5 of the best proprioceptive exercises.
- Warrior 3 – Stand on a single leg. Hinge forward and reach forward while simultaneously extending the non-standing leg behind you. The back leg, torso, and arms ought to be aligned and horizontal to the ground. Return back to a neutral stance and repeat on the other side.
- Squats on a Bosu – Perform squats on the Bosu, dome side down. Use support of a wall or banister while stepping up onto and down from the Bosu.
- Single leg stances on a foam pad – Place one foot on foam pad. Raise the other leg to 90 degrees. Return back to a neutral stance. Switch to the other leg. Aim to stand on a single leg for 10 seconds, and increase the standing time as you improve.
- Cross over walk – Stand with feet hip-distance apart. Walk to the right by crossing the left foot over the right foot and return to feet hip-distance apart. Continue for a few more steps. Repeat in the opposite direction.
- Table top – Position the body on all fours (quadruped). Extend one arm and the opposite leg simultaneously. Return the body back to all fours. Switch to the other arm and leg. Return the body back to all fours.
Use this as a guide for both novice and experienced athletes. All body types can benefit from foundational movement checks.
About the Author:
Nelson Toriano is a personal trainer and group exercise instructor, certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He has more than 14 years of experience which includes boot camp, weight lifting, dance, and yoga. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his family and being outdoors with his two Labradors.