Can’t get in the pool? Pick up a pencil to Improve Fine Motor Movements

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Unless you were also on that retreat with Jared Leto in the deserts of California, you know there’s a global pandemic, and pools are closed. So how can we work on fine motor movements?

It’s been almost two months of detraining since the onslaught of corona cancellations and the new normal of zoom yoga and Instagram push up challenges. Running and biking, our aerobic brother and sister, help keep our heart rates up and lung capacity in check but, what about our fine motor movements?

Swimming with Purpose

Swimming is a game of big movements done with precise intention. Anyone that’s tried to change their stroke knows the mental work it takes to train our brain-body connection to enact even the smallest shift in hand placement. 

So – how do we train these muscle connections outside the pool? 

How about drawing?

At first glance, art and athletics aren’t two worlds that often inhabit the same cultural lexicon. One lives in arenas full of people, the other in a white box with purposely aloof gallery attendants.

But outside of their respective venues, the product of these two disciplines both utilize brain and body movement – just on different scales.  

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With this in mind, what’s better to develop high-level dexterity and enhance fine motor movements than drawing?

Drawing to become a better swimmer

Research published in Neuroimage in 2014 showed that people better at drawing had “increased grey and white matter in the cerebellum and also in the supplementary motor area” – both areas that are involved with fine motor movements and performance of repetitive actions.

Sound familiar?

While the brain’s frontal lobe controls movement, the cerebellum “fine-tunes” this movement. This area of the brain is responsible for fine motor movements, balance, and the brain’s ability to determine limb position. 

Key players integral to becoming a better athlete. 

In a time that forces us to think outside the box, developing your skills in drawing might be the missing component you’ve been looking for. 

So, if you want to perfect your catch, try a new addition to your cross-training routine – art.