Proprioception and Kinesthetic Awareness Information, Page 2 of 5

Proprioception and Kinesthetic Awareness Information, Page 2 of 5

Proprioception and Kinesthetic Awareness, Part 2

How are they different?
Proprioception and kinesthetic awareness are often terms that are used interchangeably but they actually mean two separate things.

Proprioception is an inner sense (the central nervous system) while kinesthetic awareness is an external sense (the body in space and time). However, they do work together and impact each other.

Skiing is a good example of how proprioception and kinesthetic awareness work together. Skiing requires the body to reflexively know when and how to coordinate and move the limbs to stay upright. This is proprioception. At the same time, you need to know where your body is in relation to the skis and the slope. This is kinesthetic awareness.

Improving proprioception and kinesthetic awareness
People possess varying degrees of proprioception and kinesthetic awareness. We've all known someone whom we think of as a "natural athlete". Chances are good that their proprioception and kinesthetic awareness are finely tuned. You probably also know someone whom you think of as an eternal klutz. It could just be that their levels of proprioception and kinesthetic awareness are not as developed as they could be. The good news is that you can improve your proprioception and kinesthetic awareness. It may not get as good as a professional athlete´s, but you could potentially improve enough to make a difference in your own life.


The ability to improve kinesthetic awareness often relies on good proprioception. An example would be walking on a path that is made of large pebbles and rocks. You need proprioception first to prevent yourself from falling or twisting an ankle. Then kinesthetic awareness kicks in when you learn how to properly walk on that particular kind of surface.

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