How Do I Improve Coordination?

Playing baseball can improve hand-eye coordination.
Painting can improve focus and hand control.
Playing sports such as tennis helps improve coordination.
Soccer can boost coordination among the hands, eyes and feet.
Some interactive video games might improve coordination.
Hand-eye coordination is essential for playing most video games.
Article Details
  • Written By: K. Testa
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 04 August 2014
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There are several types of activities that can help improve coordination. People of all ages — from young children to seniors and everyone in between — can benefit from this. It can contribute to overall fitness and strengthen balance, which is important for preventing injuries. Some potentially beneficial activities can include aerobic activities, yoga, and team sports. There are also numerous types of games and drills to improve hand-eye coordination.

Medical professionals often place emphasis on fostering hand-eye coordination in young children, as they develop their basic motor skills. As people age, coordination assists with the completion of daily tasks as well as with the development of athletic abilities. Young people and adults alike can benefit from engaging in physical activities that continue to challenge them and help them maintain their coordination. For older adults, coordination and balance often go hand in hand, since both are important for helping to prevent falls and other injuries.

Some physical activities to improve coordination can include aerobics classes and other aerobic exercises that require the person to follow a workout routine. Fitness professionals do not usually recommend machines like treadmills and stair climbers to improve coordination. These machines are usually predictable and the steps are repetitive, so one does not have to adjust his or her actions while exercising. With classes, the movements are normally varied and new routines must be learned, helping to enhance one’s fine motor skills.

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Martial arts and yoga are other activities that require focus and concentration. They also involve performing poses and movements that can strengthen one’s core muscles. Achieving core strength has been associated with increased flexibility and posture, both of which can improve coordination.

To learn more about hand-eye coordination and reaction times, team sports — like baseball or soccer — are often recommended. Catching, throwing, and batting all require the integration of different motor skills when playing baseball. Soccer also involves training the hands, eyes, and feet to work together. Like team sports, individual sports, such as tennis, can also assist someone with his or her coordination.

In addition to fitness activities, there are other ways to improve coordination. Some studies have shown that even certain types of video games can help. There are also various drills that have been created, many of which are aimed at helping older adults maintain their balance and coordination. Before beginning an exercise program or engaging in new activities, people are usually advised to check with their physicians for specific recommendations.

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anon963459
Post 10

I've been reading more and seeing more people suggesting that Oxiracetam, a nootropic (cognitive enhancer), has clinically studied benefits in regards to motor coordination.

I've been using it for the last week and a half while swimming and biking, and it does seem to aid in water polo or in the free-running I do in the evenings.

kylee07drg
Post 9

@seag47 - I love the original Nintendo! I still play it today, and I probably will until the system dies.

A game that I found really helpful for developing my coordination is Tetris. I don't know if there is a modern-day version or if any young people are familiar with it, but fitting the different shaped rows and boxes into holes quickly really is a brain and hand exercise.

The trick is that you have to fill the spaces all the way across the board in order to melt the blocks down so that new blocks don't accumulate upon them. If the collection of blocks reaches the top of the screen, you lose. Since I hate to lose, this game presented a wonderful challenge for both my brain and my fingers.

seag47
Post 8

When I was young I got the original Nintendo system, and it is an excellent tool for improving coordination. The games and controls are much simpler than modern versions, and the act of learning how to shoot or stomp your enemies and place things where they belong is a challenge when you first start.

Using the controls to manipulate what happens on screen has helped me develop fast reflexes and shortened my response times. Becoming a whiz at Nintendo has made me react quicker to real-life situations. My husband even says I jump before the phone rings. If something comes at me, my body coordinates with my mind before I've even realized what's happened.

lighth0se33
Post 7

I have exercised along with many different aerobic dance DVDs, and I believe they definitely help you develop better coordination. Not only do they teach you how to do different moves involving both hands and feet, they also help you develop strong core muscles.

Though DVD workouts are available involving dance to strengthen your abs, you can do the dances yourself easily without instruction. By twisting, turning, and holding you abdominal muscles in just the right way, you can get a great workout in just minutes. If you feel the crunch and the burn, you know you are doing it right.

StarJo
Post 6

I think that an absolutely excellent exercise in coordination is badminton. Though it is a lot like tennis, the birdie is much more lightweight than a tennis ball. You don't have to hit it very hard at all, and this allows you to put your full concentration on the target. All you have to do is lightly tap the birdie with the racket.

Badminton is fun and easy for all ages. I started playing it at an early age, and though I started out rough, I improved rather quickly. I've observed other children do the same. I feel certain that it has helped me develop better hand-eye coordination.

sunshine31
Post 5

@Mutsy - I agree with you. I also think that jumping rope or playing tennis is a great hand eye coordination game. You have to move in both and wait on either the rope or the ball to come at you so that you can swing.

You also gain muscle with these exercises especially in your legs. Another great exercise for improving coordination is using a hula hoop. It is really fun and if you play some music the time will go by fast. It is really hard for me to keep the hoop up, but my daughter can go for several minutes at a time with no problem.

mutsy
Post 4

I also wanted to say that strength training really helps with coordination and balance. You can even do exercises with a medicine ball and perform some exercises on one leg.

You can try one legged squats which should really make a difference. I have a video game that offers a variety of fitness exercises and they have a bunch of exercises pertaining to balance. In fact, the game offers a balance test and tells you what your chronological age is with respect to balance.

The program is great because you have visual stimulus on the screen and it measures how accurately you performed the exercise. It is like having your own personal trainer. I also think that is great for improving eye hand coordination.

burcidi
Post 3

I've heard good things about the brain gym or similar programs for improving children's coordination. They have courses and workshop that concentrate on different areas of development. It's supposed to improve physical coordination by developing areas of the brain that have been ignored. I think they have courses in every state if you want to try it out.

fify
Post 2

I think that children and teenagers tend to have problems with this because they are still growing and that impacts coordination a lot. I agree with the article that the best way to help with this is to have kids take part in sports at school or outside.

My son used to have some difficulty with coordination and that made him reluctant to try sports because he felt that he would be a failure. My husband and I were very supportive of him though. When my son decided that he wanted to play baseball, he practiced with my husband in the backyard every single day until he felt he was good enough to try out for the team.

I think the most important thing with kids and coordination is to encourage and support them. Coordination is not something you have to be born with, it's something that improves with time and effort. And we need to let our kids know that it's going to get better with practice.

turquoise
Post 1

I'm not much into sports but I love dancing and I have been taking dance classes for coordination. There are many organizations that have dance classes available at different levels, so you don't need to have any experience dancing at all.

I think that dancing improves coordination because none of the moves are predictable. You watch the instructor and repeat the moves and steps. I'm taking a bollywood dance class right now for example. Every class is a new choreography for a new song, so I never know what's coming. The dance instructor first shows us how to do a certain move step by step and slowly we put all the moves together for a whole choreography by the end of the class.

Not only is it fun, but it also doesn't force you to strain yourself or push your body beyond limits which is sometimes the case I think with sports. Plus, it's all about coordination because the goal is to do dance moves the same way and in coordination with the other dancers in the class. And we have people of all ages in the class, male and female, so anyone can do it!

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