Over the past couple years I’ve run in to a handful of advocates of corrective exercises. This is a little bit of a generalization, but most seemed pre-occupied by correcting something rather than training the qualities really necessary to perform. The irony, is that if they just trained appropriately they could kill two birds with one stone (train & correct). There are a couple of problems with the corrective exercise phenomenon as I see it.
- Is there true validity outside of commercially subsidized qualitative (often-times not peer-reviewed) physical therapy research or observation that indicates a beneficial outcome can be reached from using corrective exercises?
- Assuming there is something to be corrected, do corrective exercises with nominal load performed for minimal volume (2 sets of 10 twice a week seems to be a common prescription) even provide enough of a training stimulus to make a change?
- Most of the corrective exercises seem to bear little resemblance to a natural or dynamic athletic movement. Most seem isolationist, reductive and robotic. Exactly the opposite of what we want our athletes to be.
- Well designed training with biomotor balance is corrective by its very nature. I rarely see acute catastrophic injuries with my athletes because the training is the treatment. Hurdle mobility, flexibility routines (both static and dynamic), full range of motion weight room and general strength (bodyweight) movements executed with strict movement standards, multi-jumps, and unilateral loading exercises…if appropriately applied…should address 95% of issues without specialized corrective exercises.
There is a time and a place for everything but with limited hours in the day and limited recuperative resources we need to be results driven and purposeful in our training and not just add things with little return on time investment. Sadly, the most common thing I’ve seen corrected by overzealous use of corrective exercise are fitness, speed, and power.