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Good proprioception—a combination of strength and balance—is what makes you instinctively turn your head and tuck your body when you fall, so that you don't land flat on your face. The stronger your core muscles, the better your balance, and the more likely you are to have good proprioception and avoid injury.
Proprioceptive exercises are any exercises that require balance and promote core strength, including yoga poses and Pilates moves done using an exercise ball. Doing Pilates on the ball is a convenient way to combine proprioception training with getting a challenging workout. For example, try these Pilates-style leg raises on an exercise ball:
-Start in a plank position with your hands on the floor and your shins on an exercise ball.
-Alternate lifting your legs, keeping both legs straight and toes pointed.
-Repeat on the other side.
For more details about this type of proprioceptive exercise, check out the book, Pilates on the Ball, available at FitBALL.com.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|