Corrective exercises are nothing new. They are a way to offset/fix the everyday behaviors that cause injury. Corrective exercises have been around for many, many years, and they are needed more and more often. You can thank the rising rate of inactivity and unhealthy living within the United States. On average, +30% adults in the United States are obese. Colorado has the lowest rate of adult obesity (YAY!) in the United States, so at least we can say that. Here’s the thing, all the obesity and the inactivity is leading to functional issues.
Functional issue = corrective exercises to fix.
Now, let’s talk about corrective exercises and how they relate to you. Say you can’t back squat (which is common) and you want to fix that because well, you want to back squat to get stronger, you’ll need to know WHY you can’t do it. First, we’d look at form (and of course go through the entire teaching process of form) to see if there are issues. We might notice that you roll onto your toes, or bend at the waist creating bad form. These issues MIGHT not be “form” related. They might be functional issues at the hips or at the ankles. In order to decide if they are functional or form, we would do a little testing to check; functional assessments, strength assessments, and range of motion assessments.
Once we find an issue, we move into correcting the issues. We might start with something called Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) which can be anything from foam rolling to trigger point release therapy. SMR has its place and its time, and it’s done to decrease musculature tension & “fix” myofasical issues within the body. SMR is widely criticized for its ineffectiveness due to a lack of long-term research, but it is widely used, and there is research coming out that it is effective with acute range of motion issues.
After SMR we would then utilize methods of stretching and lengthening musculature to help it function properly. These types of corrective exercises help improve function by improving range of motion & decreasing tension and muscular inhibitions. These corrective exercises are things like; static stretching & neuromuscular stretching (PNF – proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation). Stretching can, and still is, misused by many professionals. Adding stretching to a corrective exercise program should be done with the specific client (and their limitations) in mind. If a person is incredibly mobile in their shoulder joints, but not in their ankles/hips, maybe increasing stretching of the shoulder joint is NOT something you should do.
Implementing SMR, and stretching & lengthening, we follow it up with muscle activation & by integrating dynamic movements. It is during this phase of corrective exercise that we work on deficits in strength and we can isolate injuries to work around them. One of the most common things people say is “I don’t know why X side is so weak” or “I am so much stronger on X side.” Well, strength isn’t bilateral and functional issues in the body can widen the gap further and further. By adding in dynamic movements we can help tweak old (bad) patterns into more functional movement patterns. Proper function = less pain. Proper function = gains in strength and mobility.
In conclusion, everyone can benefit from corrective exercises but they must be specialized to each person’s specific issues. There is no one-size-fits-all program. Test first and then implement corrective exercises based on testing. These techniques work for improving upon overall strength, muscular imbalances, decreased range of motion & for overall flexibility. If you need help with any of these issues, contact us today and we can put you in touch with a personal trainer that can help your imbalances with the use of corrective exercises.