Last week, one of the exercises I did and my clients did also was a back lunge with a foot on a bench. It doesn’t look hard. There are no weights beyond our body weight. It was surprisingly difficult for many of us, so I learned that we need to work on our proprioception, balance, and core control.
Proprioception is a lovely, fancy word that makes me look smarter when I use it. It is our sense of where our bodies are in space. It’s what we use to avoid bumping into furniture. And, of course, what we use to step back on a bench without looking behind ourselves. We use it all the time. The better our proprioception, the more gracefully we can move through the world and the more likely we are to be able to hit a tennis ball, hike a rough trail, and avoid ugly shin bruises.
Balance, not surprisingly, arises in part from our proprioception. Maybe we don’t want to walk tightropes, but I know we all want to avoid nursing homes. As we get older, we need to work on our balance to avoid falling.
Core control contributes mightily to our ability to balance, but that is only one of its important functions. It helps us avoid back pain. It keeps us looking trimmer and thinner. It provides the strong center from which we can base our other strength activities.
We’ll be continuing to work on all these things in the coming weeks!