If you've ever broken your ankle or even had knee surgery, there's a good chance you've gone through a proprioceptive workout. KY3's Paul Adler visited with Brandon Hetzler of Mercy Health Tracks to learn more about this type of workout.
Many times, proprioceptive training gets labeled incorrectly as “balance training” and while this isn’t entirely wrong, it’s not entirely right either. The word proprioception comes from the Latin word proprius which means “one’s own.” Proprioception is just a fancy way of saying “awareness of ones body.” Typically, this is in relation to where we are in space. If you put on a really tall President Lincoln top hat and walk through a doorway, what is the common response? You are likely to duck down so the hat doesn’t hit the door frame. That is part of proprioception.
Having good balance is partly based on being aware of where your body is in space. But, just like anything awareness is the first level of correction – you have to be aware of the problem before you can fix the problem. The further your head is from the ground (standing up versus lying down), the harder it will be to balance.
One of the drills we did in this segment was a half kneeling (on one knee) halo (taking the kettlebell around the head).
Here's a description of how to do the half kneeling halo -- hold the kettlebell in both hands at your chest. Move the weight to your right shoulder, then behind your head and around to your left shoulder. Finally, return to the starting position. While doing this move, try to keep the rest of your body as still as possible.
The other drill we did was a kettlebell football hike drill (hike pass). To do this move, we need to make sure that we can control ourselves (specifically our lower back) in space. Here we use a kettlebell to keep our hips straight and our back flat. Why is this important? Greater than 85% of the population suffers from back pain, and we have all heard the story about someone who injured their back when they tried to pick up a pencil. Many times, this can be traced back to body awareness.
Proprioceptive training is really any training that emphasizes an awareness and then control of your body in space. It starts on the ground and builds up. Many people and athletes can benefit from this training.