Corrective Exercise Rapid Fire


I just wanted to link to the Tucson Kettlebell blog post on the craziness of corrective exercise. It was nice to see another voice in the dark here, but we need to start looking at the issue more now that we are heading towards a data driven and evidence based therapy world. Craig Liebenson had this link on social media and it’s nice to see therapists driving out of the nonsense. Instead of longwinded blog posts on this, I am going to attempt to just have some soundbites for twitter ammo and responses to the approach here. I think that more and more talk about what is effective is going to help coaches get out of the overly conservative approach to patients (I mean athletes) and start getting practical here.

Corrective exercise is popular because it sells exercises. DVD exercise catalogs or youtube channels are popular here and I do think we need to have taxonomy for resources, but most coaches like the turnkey simplicity that an exercise can correct faults. Exercises are part of the process but it’s about corrective approaches, not just a convenient movement of a few reps doing the trick. In fact, too much parlor tricks in my book are going on. Quick to fix quick to return.

The body must play in an environment that has massive ground reaction forces. If the loads are therapeutic, it’s early rehab, not a solution to handle professional sports. Doing wall slides are fine, but if they are working so well why are we doing them for years? Let’s think about impact approaches such as lifting loads that force the body to adapt morphologically and neurologically. If you want to save up for a sports car, think wire transfers not loose change.

This leads to barefoot science and other training nonsense. I understand it’s good to have some barefoot work but with all of the leaders talking about this why are some facilities having a rash of foot fractures? Where is the data there and how is the barefoot working now? Crickets.

Good training is corrective so think about the macrocycle and how joint range of motion and posture is evolving over a season and a career. Use benchmarks for goal setting and good record keeping to see context. Anyone can test great during the offseason but measures should be audited over each phase to see how chronic loading can interact with those scores.

Good lifting is corrective in nature. I find it interesting how so many corrective exercise people can’t get clients to do the basics really well. If they tried to do the basics and do simple things like full range lifts, balanced program design, smart sequencing, and sufficient loads, we would see better results.

Measure posture with real tools. Talk is cheap and all of the PRI talk is great but show me the data. Don’t post a cued athlete before and after, show me video of motion and a 3-D posture scan. You don’t need to buy a system, just go to the area university and get it done to show us how all the rib work is working. I still believe that posture has an effect with athletes, but measuring it is just as important as a DEXA scan and bodyfat. Show me the data of motion and static postural changes.

I like that Mobility Wod exists as I am a fan of personal maintenance, but we need less of the fixers out there. Now that athletes are seeing this stuff on youtube, we are seeing hypochondria zombie plagues where athletes must be resurrected with massive amount of mobility tweaks to function. Why not address this by getting to the root of the problem like seeing a real therapist and finish rehabbing the problem. Most of the time I see this because self mobility is treating symptoms and not addressing core issues. The less self fixing and assisted corrective exercise the better the program is. Sometimes elite sport requires a lot of artificial support so I am not discounting it!

In time we are going to see more of a balanced and sane approach to training continues. I prefer less tinkering and more purity, but we will at time need to address problems because of the nature of the beast. Let’s not get carried away with this stuff and try to do what is necessary, not what is available.

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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