The main features to be conditioned for what concerns physical training are Strength, Stamina, Joint Mobility, Coordination, Balance, Stability, Speed, Power and more ones. Although they are all important, trainers too often focus only on the features which are more connected to the goal they are pursuing, neglecting the other ones. An example of this is the Joint Mobility, but also another feature that should be present in the training programs of every people: the ‘almost-unknown’ Proprioception.
The word itself could indeed make people avoid it, and often it is reduced to the mere use of unstable boards (which for this reason are called ‘proprioception board, as if it was an innate feature).
Even worse is when people do functional training and neglects proprioception, or reduce it to demonstrations that can be described as ‘folklore performances’: besides not improving any physical capability, these approaches create only unfunctional neuro-muscular and postural adaptations, as they do not take in count the motor biomechanics of the human body.
Every Functional Training program must aim to make people rediscover their neuro-motor potential. This has necessarily to be achieved through the construction of the ‘body consciousness’ in every movement performed during the workout. In short words, this is achieved through the construction of the Proprioception, which is:
The capability of perceive and control in the space your own body in real time, developing ‘biomechanically neat’ and more and more complex neuro-motor schemes.
The development of the Proprioception can be included in the Coordination Skills conditioning, which are essential for the increase of all the Conditional Skills (Strength, Speed, Power and Stamina) of the individual, whether he or she is an athlete or a simple amateur practitioner. The development of the Coordinative Skills must follow a precise path, which goes from the construction of the General Coordination, to the Special Coordination (where the Proprioception plays an essential role), up to the Specific Coordination, which can be decisive in the technical execution of the different sports.
In the following video (available only in Italian language), the WTA Senior Coach Evgenia Babrovskaia presents the Proprioceptive Training with the Flowbag.
The Flowbag Training to build a functional and proprioceptive body
Although the development of the Coordination and of the Proprioception has a key role in the construction of the training base of every person, an even more important role is played by the Joint Mobility, essential condition to guarantee a correct postural structure on which to set up and consolidate in time more and more complex and diversified neuro-motor schemes.
In this process a tool like the Flowbag could be very useful: being a bag filled with water, it forces the user to a constant control of the tool itself, while making more and more complex and unstable movement trajectories. The result is a constant proprioceptive conditioning and a global stabilization, starting from the Core.
Practically, the Flowbag Training (so as other training formats included in the WTA Functional Training System, like the Flying Suspension Training, the Kettlebell Training or the Clubs Training), as it requires in every exercise first of all a perfect postural control and then a constant control on the center of gravity of the body along every movement trajectories, it allows to set up a proprioception which is extremely functional to everyday movements and to every athletic motor scheme, and which is very far from the traditional proprioceptive work on balance boards. The latter approach is indeed disconnected from the motor schemes that we want to retrieve and to improve, as it does not allow the practical association of advanced and reproducible motor schemes in everyday life and in specific athletic situations.
The Flowbag can be the key element in the true global multiplanar proprioceptive training, but only through an optimal knowledge of the technical execution of the exercises, and respecting the human body biomechanics, it is possible to take the best from its extraordinary features.
di Emilio Troiano
Master Trainer della WTA International Functional Training Academy
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The WTA Functional Training Academy provides training courses on the use of the Flowbag since 2009 and, besides the traditional on-site option, since April 2019 it offers the new Online training courses, rich in technical-practical content (more than 90 video lessons, ebooks and training programs) that will lead to a certified specialization in the use of the Flowbag in every physical context, from athletic preparation to rehabilitation and group functional training.
To learn how to specialize on Flowbag Training, click in the banner below and read all the information about the Flowbag Training Instructor Course.
Flowbag is an innovative tool for functional training. The instability of the water is essential for better development of proprioception, reactivity, and general strength. The tool, equipped with different grips, allows you to perform traditional movements like squats, and ballistic movements like swing or snatch.