How to improve motor coordination? Dexterity, agility and maintaining balance - these are all components of a much-needed skill, which is motor coordination. It is useful not only during exercise but also day-today.

Why when some people, see a narrow footbridge over a river in front of them, without thinking, or even eagerly, they can run across it in a few strides? Meanwhile others will always stop and think three times before going carefully step by step? Why does one find it easy to repeat a sequence of movements, like in a dance or a team game whilst others have to divide this movement into its component parts, painstakingly memorize it and generally say: "it's not for me." Motor coordination is responsible for this attitude and how it relates to the activities performed. It is worth working on it, regardless of age and level of training.

Why is good motor coordination so important?

Motor coordination is responsible, among other things, for movement control, but also for the ability to learn new movement sequences and the ability to adapt to a new situation. Professionally it is defined as the ability to perform specific and controlled movements in a given time and space, often with chains of movement involved. To a large extent, genetics is a component responsible for coordination, which allows you to maintain balance but, the work of the nervous system that controls the impulses sent to the muscles is also vital.

Thanks to coordination, we maintain balance in different body positions, we can catch an incoming object or deftly dodge it so as not to be hit. We quickly learn new movements, for example, the first time you try a racket on a tennis court or sitting on a horse.

Coordination protects against injuries because it helps condition us to behave properly in the event of a stumble or sudden loss of balance.

Can coordination be improved at any age?

The best time to develop motor coordination is between 8 and 12 years of age. Therefore it is so important that children of this age really actively participate in various sports activities. However, it is a skill that can be improved effectively at any age, with effort. The ideal is to pose movement challenges - learning completely new activities that involve the entire movement apparatus.

Exercises to promote better coordination

Steeplechase racing

These don't have to be fast runs or very difficult obstacles. Jumping up the stairs, running down a hill, jumping out and tapping a tree branch, running under a waist height crossbar, all these kinds of activities promote this skill. You can invent any layout or challenge for these but in general, the more varied and surprising they are, the more challenging they are for our coordination.

Swallow and other exercises that require balance

Standing on one leg in a tilted position is not that easy. It is associated with exercises in PE or… a driver's sobriety test.

Playing with the ball

Throwing at the target, catching, bouncing off the wall, dribbling while running, juggling - the ball is an excellent aid in balance exercises. And it is best to invite other people to these exercises, then we can also practice agility and reaction time.

Jump rope

A great combination of coordination exercises with endurance training. Once we have mastered the basic movement, it is worth getting inspired by videos from the Internet and practicing interesting tricks.

Turns, falls on the mat

It is worth returning to the exercises from our school's PE - forward and backward flips, sideways shifts, controlled falls. For the more experienced, a great option is also a goat jump or a chest jump. Perhaps, however, let's put some restraint on the fantasy and not start our coordination exercises with this, because it is very easy to get injured.