Thursday, April 14, 2016

Did you know about your 6th sense ?

ou know the body’s five main senses: hearing, touch, taste, sight, and smell. Together they combine to form your picture of the world. But without your sixth sense, you’d have a hard time making your way through that world. This sixth sense is proprioception. Proprioception is that unconscious awareness of your body’s position in space.
To get an example of proprioception in action, try this: clap your hands together behind your back. With a healthy proprioceptive sense, you’ll find this pretty easy, despite not being able to see your hands.
Proprioception: The Next Frontier in Performance
Chandler Stevens
Coach
If you’re stuck in a rut and unable to bust through a plateau, the problem isn’t your muscles. It’s your brain. When your brain and body don’t know how to talk to each other, performance suffers. In this article we’re going to explore a simple process to reignite your brain-body connection.
Crawling.
Take action to prevent your brain from forgetting how to talk to your body.
Awaken Your Sixth Sense
You know the body’s five main senses: hearing, touch, taste, sight, and smell. Together they combine to form your picture of the world. But without your sixth sense, you’d have a hard time making your way through that world. This sixth sense is proprioception. Proprioception is that unconscious awareness of your body’s position in space.
To get a clearer idea of proprioception in action, try this: clap your hands together behind your back. With a healthy proprioceptive sense, you’ll find this pretty easy, despite not being able to see your hands.
So how does proprioception work? Throughout your body, you have sensory receptors that send constant messages to your brain. These messages help the brain keep track of just where those receptors are in relation to each other. It’s a complex job that we often take for granted. But it took years and years of exploratory movement for this sense to develop. For example, we spend a huge amount of time rolling, creeping, and crawling on the floor in our development. These formative movements help us develop this bodily sixth sense.
What do we do once we’ve developed this sixth sense?PRACTICE IT! When you are not actively moving your body, these maps grow fuzzy, leading to sensory-motor amnesia meaning they forget how to work. Essentially, the brain forgets how to talk to the body. And we hop right into our training, ignoring the fact that our software no longer works the way it should. Performance stalls, injuries pop, and we forget that movement should feel good.
How do we awaken the 6th sense ? Simple: we need to train with more variety in our movements. Exploring novel movements has repeatedly been shown to influence our cognitive capacity,2 from working memory to proprioceptive response.
The possibilities are endless, but here are three crawling patterns to explore variety in quadrupedal movement:
From hands and knees, float your hands and knees up and begin to move opposite limbs together, crawling forwards and backwards. You can use this as part of a dynamic warm up or as a conditioning unit on its own.
From a squat, reach your arms to one side and using your hands as a new point of support, pop yourself up and reach your legs through, moving in a lateral direction. You may notice that one direction is easier than the other.
From a squat, reach your hands to one side and rotate yourself in a circle from the point of support in your hands. Land facing the same direction as you started.
The brain-body connection is the next frontier in performance. Ignore it at your own risk. Or learn to improve it !

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