Proprioception + Running

Proprioception + Running

Proprioception is defined as the awareness of your body in space. Proprioception is what allows a person to not need to look at their hand to know their fingers are bent. The sensory receptors in the muscles, tendons and joints tell this to the brain without requiring effort on its part. Good proprioception allows a runner to remain injury-free and experience enhanced responsiveness and greater awareness while running on uneven surfaces.

How proprioception works to improve running performance

Proprioception works off of three systems:

  1. Our sight provides visual information of our surroundings

  2. Feedback from sensory receptors in our muscles, tendons and joints

  3. Vestibular system aids us in motion, head position and spatial orientation

How does it help improve running?

Proprioception in the foot and ankle are vital for walking and running by providing the correct foot position appropriate for the ground. The more we practice our proprioception the less over correcting our leg muscles must do to ensure a more stable ankle. The stability in the ankle results creates more stability in the knee and hip and continues up the entire chain of the body. Not only are we decreasing our injury risk but we are also improving our stride pattern and running efficacy.

How to improve proprioception?

Simple exercises to improve proprioception include standing on one leg for short periods of time throughout the day. It’s good to do these exercises around daily activities such as brushing teeth or making coffee. If it is too easy then then try with your eyes closed. Balance boards and Bosu balls can help runners challenge and strengthen balance while increasing strength and stability.

5 benefits of proprioception

There are many benefits of proprioceptive including:

  1. Improved joint position and stability

  2. Reduced risk of injury

  3. Improve confidence in joints

  4. Enhanced mobility

  5. Reduced muscle compensation

Your feet are reading the ground

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