Proprioception Training

Physical therapists use proprioception training to increase subconscious awareness of joint position in space to ensure the body responds with the appropriate movement. Proprioception training is appropriate for patients rehabilitating from injury or trying to prevent re-injury, but specific training plans will vary based on age, weight, fitness level, and footwear.

Therapists prescribe patients proprioceptive exercises to improve balance, coordination, and agility. Typically, these exercises are performed on wobble boards (flat boards with rounded bottoms), but patients can use other balance equipment, such as stability trainers (oval-shaped foam pads), Bongo boards (basically a skateboard with a roller), and BOSU balls (which looks like a stability ball cut in half).

Exercises can also be performed on a flat floor, which is particularly helpful for beginners who lack the skill necessary to use balance equipment. Once beginners master the exercises on the floor, they can progress to the balance equipment to increase the challenge.

Proprioception training involves static and dynamic exercises, as well as agility and coordination exercises. Static exercises include calf raises, hip abduction and adduction, hip flexion and extension, squats, and lunges. Dynamic exercises involve running and lateral/backward movement; agility and coordination exercises go one step further by including pivoting, twisting, and jumping movement.