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Awareness of your Body Weight

Developing a heightened awareness of your body weight involves cultivating a sense of proprioception, which is the ability to perceive the position, movement, and spatial orientation of your body. Here are some exercises and practices to help you develop a better sense of feeling your body weight.

Mindful Movement: Engage in activities that require focused attention to your body movements, such as Systema. These practices emphasize mindful and controlled movements, helping you become more aware of your body and its positioning.

Barefoot Training: Spend time walking or exercising barefoot on different surfaces. This allows your feet to directly feel the ground, enhancing your proprioceptive feedback. Start with safe and comfortable surfaces, gradually progressing to more challenging ones.

Balance Exercises: Incorporate balance exercises into your routine. Stand on one leg, close your eyes, or use unstable surfaces like a balance board or Bosu ball. These activities challenge your body's proprioceptive system and improve your ability to sense and control your body weight.

Weight Shifting: Practice shifting your weight intentionally from one foot to the other. This can be done while standing still or during simple movements like squats. Pay attention to how your body weight shifts and feels in different parts of your feet and legs.

Body Scan Meditation: Practice body scan meditations to increase your awareness of different parts of your body. Start from your toes and progressively move up through your body, paying attention to sensations and how your weight is distributed.

Conscious Walking: Pay attention to your walking patterns. Feel the contact of your feet with the ground, the roll of your foot, and the distribution of weight. Walk slowly and deliberately to enhance your sensory perception.

Functional Movement Patterns: Perform functional movements that mimic activities of daily living. Pay attention to how your body weight shifts and adapts during these movements. Examples include squats, lunges, and reaching exercises.

Body Awareness Exercises: Engage in exercises that enhance body awareness, such as somatic movements. These involve slow, controlled movements that encourage a deeper connection with your body and its sensations.

Massage and Self-Massage: Receive massages or practice self-massage using tools like foam rollers or massage balls. This can help release tension, improve circulation, and heighten your awareness of different areas of your body.

Regular Physical Activity: Stay physically active on a regular basis. The more you move and challenge your body, the better your proprioceptive system becomes at providing feedback on your body's position and weight distribution.

Consistency is key when developing a heightened sense of feeling your body weight. Over time, these practices can improve your proprioception, leading to better body awareness and control.

Benefits of Bodyweight Exercise Training

Training with weights can be very beneficial for a lot of different goals, and most of us at GMB use weights as part of our training, depending on what we’re focusing on in a particular training cycle.

So, this guide is certainly not meant to laud bodyweight exercise as the “ideal” model for training.

But bodyweight training does have certain benefits that might make it a good option for you. Even in conjunction with weight training, there are a lot of good reasons to incorporate bodyweight exercise into your routine.

This benefit is definitely the most obvious–when your body is your “gym,” training becomes a whole lot more convenient than getting in the car, driving 20 minutes, finding parking, going into the gym, waiting for the squat rack to free up, setting the weights to the appropriate level, changing out the weights between sets, etc. You know the drill. Bodyweight exercise can be done anywhere, anytime, so it removes a huge barrier to training.

When you’re working with weights (particularly with barbells), there are certain limitations on the ranges of motion you can use. A straight bar can only be moved around a joint in so many ways. With bodyweight training, there’s a lot more adaptability at your disposal. The ranges of motion available are literally endless, so you have many more options for adjusting your focus, modifying exercises around injuries or other limitations, and improving your capabilities across a much wider window of possibilities.

This is probably our favourite benefit of bodyweight exercise: the ability to work on the most important physical attributes–strength, flexibility, and body roll body control. Control–at once. With weight training, you’re typically only working on one attribute–strength. And that’s okay. But what we’re after is physical autonomy, the confidence in knowing that your body is ready to handle whatever life throws at it. Strength alone won’t get you there. What will be needed is strength combined with flexibility, and bodyweight training makes that well-rounded approach possible.

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