Coordination Takes Some Practice

October 12, 2008

A rabbit asked the turtle if it could hurdle. The turtle had to ‘think’ if it must use its shoulder girdle.

Coordination is a thinking process which combines harmonious movements. Coordination is synchronization of muscular movements after the muscles receive signals from the brain.

A decline in coordination can be related to lack of nutrition or not using certain skills, unless one has a disease that affects coordination such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, or cerebral palsy.

A giraffe’s movements become awkward as it bends and turns its elongated neck. In people, head turning, reaching, and crawling are innate movements, but other movements, such as balancing on one foot, must be conditioned through reflexes and response.

It takes great effort to bend over!

It takes great effort to bend over!

According to the 1997 edition of Exercise Physiology for Health, Fitness, and Performance, a reflex is a rapid, involuntary response (hitting your knee with a rubber mallet) that results in a specific motor response (getting a leg jerk), with that response being dependent on the type and duration of the stimulus received (the harder you hit, the harder the leg jerks).

Body movement feedback moves in and out of the spinal cord to the brain and then through spinal nerves to your limbs to conduct the necessary movement. If you are no longer able to carry out a certain movement, it is time to work on your neuromuscular function through balance training.

A lungfish is known to have fins and feet, but it is a better swimmer than a walker. It can be seen bumbling to and fro as it wobbles on sand. Some people claim they feel the same way about their walking.

The African Lungfish

The African Lungfish

The good news is that balance exercises improve coordination. Several beneficial balance exercises include side jumps with legs together, side squat lunges, and step-ups on an aerobic box.

If your walking “beats the bands,” but you are like a butter-fingered koala bear trying to catch a ball, it is time to work on hand-eye coordination. Helpful exercises include bouncing a ball against a wall, squatting, then catching the ball on the way up from the squat; or seeing how many many times you can bounce a tennis ball on a racket before it bounces off.

After honing skills, it is appropriate to hone nutrition. When it comes to hand-eye coordination, beta-carotene and lutein can strengthen eyes. Other nutritional elements that have been known to enhance endurance and prevent fatigue and lack of focus are magnesium and calcium.

Olympic biathlon contenders have improved their concentration and precision in the rifle event after taking B-complex vitamins.

When it comes down to total body harmony, joints need to be able to move fully and freely, and this can be accomplished through total body conditioning with an emphasis in neuromuscular training.

*If you need to improve coordination and neuromuscular function, Alicia Weber, the fitness trainer can develop the right ‘balancing act’ for you. She trains people in Central and South Florida and online. Contact her at for help.