A frequently used term in the fitness and sporting industry. Proprioception is the process of the receptors found in the musculoskeletal system’s soft tissue, joints, tendons, and muscles detecting the body’s position in space, movements, and actions. Proprioception is often considered the sixth sense, enabling us to perform actions and understand our environment without needing our other senses. It is a continuous feedback loop between the body’s sensory receptors, the Peripheral Nervous System and the Central Nervous System.
Proprioception encompasses multiple subcategories, including Kinaesthesia (the sense of motion), the sense of change in velocity, and the sense of change in force, e.g. muscle spindles in the muscle belly detect excessive lengthening of a muscle, and Golgi Tendon Organs in the tendons detect excessive tension or contraction. These two kick in when we stretch and during unexpected movements to prevent injury.
Have you ever closed your eyes and touched your finger to your nose? You can’t see it, but it finds its way there; that’s proprioception. Regarding training, It’s a crucial sense that helps with balance, movement and contraction efficiency. Therefore incorporating proprioception exercises into your training routine may help improve your balance and athletic performance while reducing your risk of injury.
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