What is Body Awareness?
Before starting any effective exercise programming, it is fundamental to understand how the body moves in reaction to the physical environment. This is called body awareness or proprioception. How cognizant we are of our body movements influences simple tasks to complex coordination and multitasking, ranging from blinking an eye to catching a football while talking to a friend.
Why is Body Awareness Important?
Body awareness is essential for mastering fine motor and coordination skills, maintaining proper form and posture, understanding the body’s capabilities and limitations, and preventing accidents and injuries. To have optimal physical fitness requires a good sense of how we move.
However, with poor proprioception, we tend to create or reinforce muscular imbalances, asymmetries, accelerated wear and tear on the muscles and ligaments, and poor posture. As a result, this creates movement distortions, which can eventually lead to injuries. A prevalent example is sitting and looking down at our screens for hours with poor posture, causing the head to tilt forward and putting strain on the neck and shoulders.
How to Improve Body Awareness
To build a strong foundation and healthy conditions for long-lasting physical fitness results, we will be focusing on six core areas of the body that people struggle with the most over the next few months: head, shoulders, trunk, hips, legs, and ankles.
Here are some exercises that we recommend to help develop body awareness:
- Release – rectus femoris and erector spinae 1-2 min each
- Activate – transversus abdominis – dead bug – 2 x 20 reps
- Integrate – anterior oblique sling – 2 x 20
- Strengthen – internal oblique – side lying bend w/db 2 x 20