The ability to improve your reflexes is integral whether its hardcore sports, hardcore gaming, or navigating your way through the supermarket aisles. So whether you’re a ninja, an aspiring MMA fighter, or a gamer, learning to improve your reflexes is vital; so read on for my article on how to get faster reflexes.
Even if you could punch as hard as Tyson or throw as well as Joe Montana, you’d still get owned if you didn’t have their reflex speed. Luckily, this ability to get faster reflexes isn’t all genetic, it’s a skill that can be learned and mastered.
When we think about the process involved to get faster reflexes, we’ve got to break it down into its parts to understand it. The complete reflexive action is comprised of 3 separate parts: Recognition, Evaluation, and Motion. The Recognition is the time interval between when you first perceive a threat and when you begin your response. The Evaluation is the time it takes you to decide what you’re going to do, be it duck a punch or pass the ball. The Motion is simply how fast you can actually make your body move.
There’s an array of ways to improve your reflexes. Some of these ways to get faster reflexes are exercise intended to speed up your evaluation time, while others are simply every day activities that can make your recognition of stimuli faster. The best reflexive actions are those trained into “muscle memory”.
Muscle memory is the act of repeatedly training a specific movement to a specific situation.The term “muscle memory” may be a bit deceiving because in addition to your training your muscles to react along a predetermined path, you’re also training your brain to do the same thing. Think of something you do everyday and, while it may be awkward for a beginner, is now quick and streamlined for you. One example that comes to mind right now for me is typing. Awkward when i first learned, my fingers now flow easily across the keyboard. This happened because over the last 15 years, I’ve done a lot of typing.
While muscle memory may be an ideal answer to improve your reflexes to a specific situation, we’re more interested in how to get faster reflexes overall. The best way to improve your reflexes is to do a variety of reflex exercises, mixing them up so that the body and mind does not become to habituated to the same routine.
A great exercise to improve on all three parts at once is to try running through the woods or some other unfamiliar terrain. This is a great exercise because you have to constantly assess your surroundings at a rapid pace. The faster you run, the more difficult the exercise becomes.Train with a reaction ball A reaction ball is a six-sided ball which allows it to bounce and leap unpredictably in different directions. Throw the ball at a wall and try to catch or dodge it as it bounces back. As you get better, try increasing the velocity and / or moving closer to the wall.
Playing video games helps the brain quickly shift between thought and action. While there are some video games that are specifically designed to exercise the brain, nearly any sort of fast paced video game will engage the mind on a variety of levels. This is what is necessary to improve reflexes.
Strengthen your peripheral vision Improving your sight range can greatly improve your reflexes. Focus on a distant object and do not let your eyes break from it. Take in as much as you can see from the corners of your eyes. See how far left and right you can see before the end of your vision line. Practice a little each day, broadening your vision in this way. Another way is to have a partner start in front of you and walk slowly in a circle behind you, while you look straight ahead. Note when the person disappears from view.
While the suggestion of using a hypnosis technique may sound a little hokey, there’s a technique called Neuro-Linguistic Programming which allows you to hypnotize yourself into slowing down your perception of time. When a baseball player is having a good day, they describe the ball as appearing bigger or moving slower. It’s not bigger or slower, but for them it looks that way. They’ve brought themselves into a trance, allowing them to speed up their internal world and effectively slow the outside world.
If you’ve tried the exercises for a few weeks and haven’t made any improvements, you should look at lifestyle factors that may be holding you back. These factors include nutrition, sleep, and supplementation. Many times, the people looking to improve their reflexes are high performing athletes, such as MMA fighters. They may be on a strict diet to stay in a weight division. This caloric restriction can be counterproductive. If your body doesn’t receive enough fuel, it will begin to ration how the fuel is used by slowing the metabolism. This will cause your brain to feel sluggish and react slowly.
Lack of quality sleep is another factor that can slow response time. Your body requires seven to eight hours of quality sleep to to recuperate and heal itself. Especially for high performing athletes who train their bodies strenuously. Getting better rest at night, or even napping during the day, can be extremely beneficial. Consider taking a neural accelerating supplement. The best one on the market is designed to assist in cell communication and increase oxygen delivery and uptake.
Contributed by guest blogger Brian Bracher