Corrective Exercise


The latest buzzword is corrective exercise. Is corrective exercise the latest fad like “drawing in ” was a few years ago? What exactly is corrective exercise? I think I know, but it is a misleading concept. What exactly are you correcting? It sounds to me like another reductionist approach to the human body based on pseudo scientific principles and marketing. The exercises that I see labeled as corrective are remedial exercises that should be part of a training progression, not separated into a category all their own. I think we are forgetting the most important principle of training and rehab which is progression. Exercises should be set-up in a hierarchical progression from the most simple and remedial to the most difficult and complex. Not every athlete starts at the same place in the progression but they are all expected to end up the same destination- the competitive arena fully fit and ready to compete free of any physical limitations. I do not think the “corrective exercise’ approach does this. In many situations I have seen athletes with perceived deficiencies who are taken out of normal training to do “corrective exercise, ” yet they are still expected to participate in practice and yes, play the game. The end result of all this madness is the plethora of injuries we see today. The so called “corrective exercises’ need to be a transparent part of training, not separate. Each athlete can and should expect individualized programs based on their ability to perform certain movements. For example today with volleyball it is squat emphasis day. I have 24 girls’ of widely varying ability. Some are squatting with a mini band above their knee, some not, some squat full others to parallel and some will not squat yet. All of this is based on a Physical Competency Assessment. This PCA is not just a one off process, the movements are part of warm-up and I evaluate daily to assess readiness to train and progress to the next step in the progression. Once again I implore you to keep the big picture in mind and do no harm.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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