When it comes to training and body movements, correct postural alignment and control is the first priority. Only when controlling the body one can improve by loading it with weights. With today’s lifestyle we can easily say that everybody has issues with the posture and some degree of imbalances. Unaddressed poor alignment and poor movements lead to more imbalances which as a result may lead to injures or daily aches.
Postural assessment and properly implemented corrective exercises should be discussed and used before every serious training commencement.
Getting client tired is easy but correcting postural imbalances and limitations requires attention and knowledge.
Body Shape’s Master Trainer, Mariusz Steckiewicz is a Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist. His first contact with a client always includes postural assessment and corrective exercises are blended into workout routines according to the assessment results.
For Mariusz it is the quality of the movement that really matters not amount of kgs lifted during a session.
Why Screening and Corrective Exercise Should Be the Foundation of Every Exercise Program
Functional exercise, prehabilitation, and corrective exercises are growing exponentially and being addressed in everything. The industry has recognized change is needed in the way we train and address injuries.
Have you ever experienced an injury? If so, how well did you recover? Did you take the proper time to heal, and then make sure to regain mobility, stability, and proper movement patterns? If you’re like most people the answer is no. According to Gray Cook and the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), the number one predictor of an injury is a past injury. If you had previously sprained an ankle you will not necessarily sprain that ankle again, however you may incur another injury or issue such as hip pain due to improper movement patterns learned by compensating for the original injury. Are you a ticking time bomb?
Injury prevention and corrective exercise are prescribed for the masses with zero progression or assessment. Without an effective unbiased screen, this is like shooting in the dark and hoping to hit the target. Even worse, performing unnecessary corrective exercises can negatively alter movement patterns that don’t need to be changed. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!
What Is a Screen?
A screen is a test which assesses movement patterns, mobility, and stability. Think of movement patterns as your coordination, whether everything is firing in the correct order, mobility as your range of motion, and stability as your ability to balance or steady yourself. An effective screen will have scoring criteria based on scientific research, such as the Functional Movement Screen.
Prescribing Corrective Exercise and What Is the Goal?
Corrective strategies must be based on a screen with specific standards. If there is no definitive, measurable test, we cannot ensure the reliability of results to most effectively help clients and ourselves. The goal of corrective exercise is to begin at the most appropriate level and steadily advance to regaining normal functions. People should eventually resume training at their previous levels and progress beyond this with a lower risk of injury than before.
The goal of our programs is never to ‘fix’ them or ‘correct’ them, or make them ‘perfect’. In our paradigm, we use a corrective exercise approach, rather than a series of exercises, as a means for helping our clients develop a more optimal posture and movement strategy.
Generally the strategy for how a client stands is usually consistent with how a client sits and how they bend, and how they squat, and how they lift, etc. In other words, the individual is consistent in using the similar postural and movement habit throughout many of their activities of life including occupation, recreation, and sport.
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To best help our clients develop a proper foundation to build strength, our goal is first and foremost to help them achieve an improved postural and movement strategy.
Corrective exercise then is not a series of remedial exercises designed to diagnose or identify the ‘fix’ for your client’s issues. It is a strategy for implementing a thorough assessment, implementing the appropriate releases and/or activation sequences so that your client can achieve optimal alignment, breathing, and control, and then integrate these principles into the fundamental movement patterns and/or your client’s functional goals.
How much time should be spent with corrective exercise?
The amount of time you spend with corrective exercise is dependent upon your current strategy and how much time is required to achieve a more efficient strategy – in other words, better align and control joints and develop improved three-dimensional breathing. Those clients with complicated medical history’s and/or who require more motor control training, need more time focused upon the corrective exercise component of their program as that is what will give them the best opportunity for developing an improved strategy. Those with less complicated histories and/or have better motor control, require less time.
Regardless of where a client is or where they are going, all clients will need to be progressed through the fundamental movement patterns so they can ultimately achieve their functional goals. What varies between individuals is how quickly they are progressed. That is where the magic occurs in this corrective exercise approach or any strength training program for that matter: it is not in the exercises or in getting to be stronger. The magic (dramatic and often profound or long-stranding changes) occurs by using the proper progressions while respecting that yourself maintains optimal alignment, breathing, and control throughout their patterns.
Most corrective strategies are designed to be used a couple of times to fix an issue and then move on. The good news is that we can fix most of these muscle imbalances with the very exercises we know and love, and then throw in some other fun things to keep everything happy.