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Proprioceptor Page

Jumpsoles FAQ

What is Proprioception?

pro•pri•o•cep•tion (pro'pre-o-sep'shen) n. The reception of stimuli arising within the organism [from Latin proprius, one's own + (re)ception.]

Proprioception as it relates to exercise is the ability of the brain to recruit the proper muscle groups needed to counteract any outside force. Walking, for example, is an activity we take for granted, but within the second that it takes to take one step, the brain is recruiting and orchestrating many different subcomponents of the leg to contact the ground, transfer energy from heel to and back up through the hip, push/pull the body forward, etc, all while making sure you don't fall flat on your face. Any robot designer will tell you what an amazingly complex task it is to simply walk. The brain is able to propriocept, or assess, how the body is positioned and properly process that information in order to control the body into the next position. For proprioception the brain gets its stimuli from the muscles and also from the eyes and ears. 

Proprioception is often synonymous with balance. Challenges to proprioception or balance happen in every day life such as  slipping over a banana peel or tripping over a misplaced object. Any time you get thrown off balance is an instance where the brain is especially challenged to propriocept. The stimulus suddenly changes and your brain needs to counteract and compensate. Hopefully, your brain processes these new stimuli quickly enough, to recruit muscle groups which hopefully will respond.

Hopefully is the key word here. If you're brain isn't adept at propriocepting, or your muscles are sluggish, you fall and possibly get hurt. If you're an athlete, the risk of injury increases as the length of playing time increases, as fatigue significantly decreases your ability to balance. All too commonly, an ACL tear or a twisted ankle happens without any contact, but just by landing wrong from a lunge or a jump. The appropriate muscles were incapable of contributing to proper proprioception because of fatigue.

Therefore, proper conditioning of the lower extremities, especially the muscle groups surrounding the knees and ankles is of utmost importance.  Your athleticism - running, jumping, agility - not only depends on it, but without properly conditioned knee and ankle muscle groups, you run the risk of serious injury. That's why Jumpsoles Proprioceptors™ can be one of your most valuable training tools. Used properly, Proprioceptors™ both enhance your athleticism and decrease your risk of  injury.


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