What is Proprioception?
Proprioception is the sense of knowing where your body is in space.
A lot of this is done subconsciously by the body.

Here’s an exercise you can do. Close your eyes, take one foot off the ground and try and balance for 30 seconds. It’s harder than you think. Because visual feedback is part of the way the body senses its position in space.

It’s especially important for the walker/runner as the body moves through the gait cycle,

and more so when the ground underfoot is uneven or gives way.

The body needs balance as contact and push off are executed with one foot at a time in a asymmetric manner.

So you can imagine that the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the foot, and around joints in the leg play an important part in the balance of the body.

What is not commonly known is that when you injure any of your joints, ie sprain your ankle, twist your knee, your proprioception capabilities are impaired and you will not fully recover these capabilities unless you perform exercises to restore them.

These normally involve balancing exercises, which your physio should instruct you how to do. It’s also covered by exercises Femke does with the Marathon Clinic each month.

As we get older, we tend to lose our sense of balance and injuries from falling become more common place. We encase our feet in shoes for most of the day so the muscles of the foot don’t get much feedback and start to lose tone and control from under use.

Its even more important for us to incorporate balance exercises in our routine. We need to heighten the bodies ability to quickly react to any changes. As Peter Snell says “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it”.

Take a look at these exercises.

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