At the BSMPG conference a question was how effective corrective exercise was in a college setting during a break. Due to NCAA rules we can only see the athlete so much each week and after some assessments the laundry list was nearly 70 minutes of corrective exercises, activation work, remedial training, and mobility exercises. Alan argued that this may be a problem because soft tissue is not just neural, but structural and those adaptations may take a long time. I could not agree more, and coaches can address issues with Vertical Integration. Remember if it looks right it will fly right? Boo Schexnayder and Dan Pfaff talk about GS with muscle balance and injury reduction, some share about alignment (body), and connective capacity seems to be more popular with some circles. I hate saying general preparedness so I will use alignment capacity, the ability to place the body in a state of optimum position in all kinds of physiological stresses.
Upper spine mobility is all the rage but I am not seeing athletes change posture within a full program. Corrective exercises in environments that are not dealt with intense sport practices and long seasons are bogus. I have seen countless programs that have youtube links of corrective exercises but in games at the end of the season I see the frame of the athlete fall apart. Doing 3 x 8 a few times a week doesn’t hold up. It will in a cookie cutter program without fatigue and power demands, sort of like when people use rubber bands thinking that will get a guy like Adrian Peterson ready to blow through the line. Sorry, the kinetics don’t add up. Structural adaptations are vital, as video of someone moving their arm up and down as evidence of function is a lie and deceptive marking. One observation of a track program done in Europe convinced me that corrective exercises done to fix movement impairments are only good for rehabbing older clients, not handling the rigors of a lot of professional level games. When asked why so many athletes do lat stretches that were long jumpers the coach talked about the rack of a good clean being limited by lat range of motion and a few other factors. All of his athletes (15-20) had great posture but were always glued to phones and played video games! He mentioned that the clean when proper breathing patterns and high rack (aka rhythm cleans done in the GPP) used gravity and forces to open up the spine without resorting to isolated exercises. I have seen this with a few athletes from soccer backgrounds who decided to compete in weightlifting and make dramatic improvements without buying PT books and voodoo DVDs. Good training will wash out most problems, so focus on good program design so that remedial work can be done in creative warm down procedures and GSBB circuits. A good way to think of posture is have a bonsai tree and see what you can do over time and understand that changes take work.