Improving your proprioception and training for better balance can de be quite difficult to achieve whether it's for recovery, rehabilitation or just performance optimisation.
There are a lot of tools you can use for balance training that make it a lot easier to fine-tune your body and do the right exercises but knowing how to use them and the exercises that work best with them can help you to develop a proper programme and get on track to the goals you want to reach.
Wobble Cushion Exercises
This video will take you through how to use a wobble cushion and shows you a few exercises you can incorporate into your routine or programme if you're aiming to improve your proprioception, balance and strengthen your ankles.
As mentioned in the video, these exercises are particularly helpful if you are recovering from an ankle injury.
Notice how the athletes' bodies are constantly making small adjustments to their position and helping them to balance and focus on their proprioception.
These benefits are stronger when you are using one foot to balance on the wobble board such as when doing the toe tap exercise.
Proprioception exercises with a Gym Ball
These exercises are designed specifically for improving your proprioception and coordination so it is less beneficial for strengthening although there are comparisons made to a leg press in the video.
It might look very easy and you may not fully understand the benefits but the range of different positions covered in the video will help you to seriously improve your proprioception.
This is because gravity is not inferring with your balance too much so you can focus on different joints and muscles, fine-tuning your reaction time in the process.
Graham mentions in the video that these exercises involve the core and glutes so these exercises can help with core and glute activation as well
Proprioception exercises with a Gym Ball
These exercises are similar to the previous one except instead of using a gym ball against the wall, the aim is to load different parts of your body while training your balance and this, in turn, improves your proprioception.
It might look a bit silly but it's an easy and simple exercise that anyone can do, you just need a gym ball.
Bosu Balance Training workout
This is a simple, fun and energetic way to use the Bosu Balance trainer for proprioception exercises.
You don't have to do it at the pace they use in the video but it's a good idea to do as many of the exercises as possible because the routine is quite holistic and covers everything you need to help improve your proprioception.
Beginner's guide to balance training with a Bosu balance trainer
This is another great workout routine that you can do with the Bosu Balance Trainer.
It's a simple routine that involves all the key exercises that can help you to train your balance and stability.
There are loads more videos that Bosu has on their Youtube page if you're interested in specific exercises
Each tool you use will have various different exercises that work well and some can even be done using various different balance and stability products.
These exercises also pose additional benefits so although you might be able to improve your balance and proprioception; the primary benefit might actually be the strengthening of muscles.
For example, you can do the back strengthening exercise; 'the Bridge' using a wobble cushion and some exercises for core strengthening involve a lot of balance as well.
You might find even find that some exercises are better for your coordination or reaction time so the point is to not narrow down your options when you are doing balance training.
This means although these exercises may help to make it easier, they are just guidelines so you can visualise the type of exercises you should be doing.
This is not really the case though if you are recovering from an injury and need to focus on a particular part of the body which also requires strengthening and conditioning that part of the body.
Similarly, if you have been inactive for a while due to an injury or surgery then rehabilitation will be a mixture of both tailored exercises and specific exercises for your injury.
Ultimately, you'll probably have physiotherapists or physical therapy specialists who can build a rehabilitation programme for you but it's important to understand the different needs of people who want to improve their proprioception, balance and stability.
Sources and References
Sports Health - Exercises to restore your proprioception
Fitness Mad - Exercises to do with a Wobble cushion