What nobody has told you!
When people talk about fitness, the most common subjects are about: losing weight, strength training, stretching, speed and power, there is a lot of information about them, but coordination is less talked about. Good Coordination is the heart of what we do. Many people think that levels of coordination are pre-determined. But the truth is, coordination is a learnable skill. And it is one that is worth pursuing.
What is coordination?
Coordination is the ability to use different parts of your body together smoothly and efficiently under control and select the right muscle, at the proper intensity, at the right time to achieve an action. It involves speed, distance, direction, timing and muscle tension. In order words, is the ability to use two or more body parts at the same time.
If you feel you are not very coordinated, don’t worry about it because it is not a predetermined skill, on the contrary, it is a skill you can learn and train.
Why is it important to improve my coordination?
- To enhance your ability in sports
- To improve stability and concentration
- For faster reaction time
- To stay more effective as you age
- To learn new skills faster and easier
- For better conception of depth
- To move more harmoniously in order to reduce wear and tear in your joints and tissues
- For helping reduce tension and pain
What can I do to improve my coordination?
Activities such as: dancing, swimming, racquet sports, taichi, Pilates, yoga, and balanced board are a great way to improve your coordination and performance.
How can I improve my coordination skills?
Coordination is located in a part of your brain called Cerebellum; it is linked to your ability to think and how fast you can process information. It seems that exercises that require coordination can help to make you smarter and give you better self-control.
Improving your coordination skills is a learning process and it can be slow, involves a lot of trial and error, and usually evokes a mix of frustration and enjoyment. So, you need to be patient when you are learning a new movement or activity. Slow down to allow your nerve system to learn the movement. Break the movement into pieces and learn one movement at the time and visualise the movement to create a clear picture of the movement.
4 easy exercises to improve your coordination:
- Balance exercises. Improving your balance is one of the most important issues in coordination, but also can keep you out from tumbling, falling down or injuring yourself. Stand on one foot for 20 to 30 seconds at a time, then switch to the other foot. You can also practice walking in a straight line, positioning one foot in front of the other with every step. These exercises can help you learn how to control your weight distribution and coordination.
- Toss and catch. This exercise is great to improve your central vision, just toss a tennis ball against a wall and practice catching it with one hand and then the other.
- Use your opposite hand. Use your opposite hand to do daily activities such as brush your teeth, move objects or write. It takes a lot of your concentration in the beginning, because you are confusing your brain forcing it to think movements in a different way.
- Walk on dishcloths. Take two dishcloths or other material you can stand on that can glide easily across the floor. Stand with a foot on each cloth and do skiing movements with your legs, back and forth. This is a difficult exercise, but it is also fun and effective.
The essence of coordination training is to force your brain`s movement mechanism out of its comfort zone. There are different ways to train your coordination, time and training will give you the level you want, so it is really worth pursuing.
If you have questions or need more information about coordination please contact us, our physios and sports therapists are happy to help.