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3 FAST Coordination Exercises (Takes 30 Seconds!)- Episode 431

Video Highlights

-Quick assessments to evaluate the cerebellum
-Compare differences in coordination and fatigue side to side
-How to use the cerebellar assessments as training drills

Hi everybody, Dr. Cobb. Today, we’re going to work on some very simple coordination drills.

Now, where these come from, they’re actually considered cerebellar drills in neuroscience, or in neurology.

The cerebellum is the little brain that sits at the back of the big brain.

It helps coordinate movement and very often what we find in our athletes, our clients, and our coaches around the world who are working with people, find very distinct differences in coordination side to side.

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Now, what’s interesting is there’s lots of ways to work on foot coordination, hand coordination, hand-eye coordination, but what we’ve found is that, sometimes the actual test that we would apply to evaluate the cerebellum in its ability to monitor movement are actually great training exercises.

So that’s what we’re going to work on today. So exercise number one is just called rapid tapping.

All right, we’re going to begin with rapid hand tapping.

So put your left hand out, put your right hand on top and you’re going to count to five.

All right. So one thousand one through five and you’re going to tap as rapidly and smoothly as possible.

You’re going to notice how fast you can go how smooth that sound is, and then you’re going to try it with your opposite side. 5 Seconds. You get the idea.

Now, what’s very important here is to notice differences in coordination as well as fatigue, because we’re asking the brain to quickly cause flexion and extension, we’re looking at how well the brain is coordinating what are called synergies.

And often the side that is a little worse in terms of its function you’ll get fatigued very quickly.

So you’ll be 3 seconds in and maybe you’ll start to get a cramp.

So, pay attention to that. So the first one rapid hand tapping.

The second one then is called, it’s from a test called dysdiadochokinesia. It’s one of my very favorite terms, in a neurology, and my dogs are going to come give me a hand with this one.

So this particular test is a test of rapid alternating pronation and supination.

Whenever we talk about the hand, if I’m patting the dog that’s pronation.

If I’m holding soup that supination. So rapid alternating pronation supination is done this way.

You put your hand in front, you begin palm down again for 5 seconds, you’re going to as quickly as possible tap the palm of your hand and the back of your hand in your target zone.

You just do that and then you try it on the opposite side again, for 5 seconds. No more.

Again you’re looking for differences side to side as well as fatigue as it builds up.

Once you’ve done that, we want to do one more test for the lower body.

So now you’re going to take, I’m going to take a step back so you can see my feet.
You’re going to put one foot in front of you and again for five seconds you’re just going to as quickly as possible do toe-tapping.

All right, you’re going to pretend you’re a bass drummer and you’re going to try that on both sides.

Again, your looking for speed, accuracy and the rhythm and fatigue as it builds up in side to side comparison.

Now as I’m describing this, I’m saying five seconds. That’s the actual test. But that is also now your exercise.

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If you start to figure out that hand tapping on the left or rapid alternating pronating pronation supination on the left is really fatiguing and really tiring what that’s telling us is that the pathways from your right frontal lobe to your left cerebellum to your arm, maybe are not as well developed or as well-conditioned as the opposite side.

And that’s something that you can work on while you’re sitting around watching TV.

So what we tell people is try to accumulate somewhere around three to
five minutes of this practice throughout the day, but do it in 5 to 10 second blocks.

As you do that you may start to notice that your coordination is going to improve on both sides of the body.

And you may also notice that if you’ve had particular problems on one side this is a fantastic potential solution for it.

So give this a shot. Let me know what you think. And we’ll see you again next week.

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