As a runner, we’re constantly shifting the body and taking all of the weight on one leg at a time. And it’s your body’s proprioception that tells your brain where everything in your body is in relation to everything else.

It’s like when you are running along and see a puddle coming up. Your brain uses it’s proprioception to sense where your joints are in terms of their position relative to it’s minimal/maximal positions, and that of other joints. This is all calculated in milliseconds and allows the body to adjust so that you do or do not stride into that puddle.

Developing the body’s Proprioception:

  • Allows for better balance which helps with maintaining stability during movement;
  • Improves a runner’s confidence in their agility so that they can react quickly and change direction if necessary;
  • Refines a runner’s coordination skills so they can run with more accuracy and consistency

One exercise that you can perform to improve Proprioception is the 5-point balance drill:

1) Stand on your left foot
2) Have your right hand up in the air
3) Imagine 5 points on an analogue clock (12, 9, 3, 10 and 2) 4) staying on the left foot and reaching with the right hand, attempt to reach out as far as possible at each of the 5 points before returning to the upright balanced position
5) Going slow will promote control and really get the central nervous system firing
6) Once all 5 points on the ‘clock’ have been reached, repeat with the other foot and hand

Michael Phan

Running Specialist

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