Corrective Exercise refers to exercises that correct imbalances in the body. This can be a side-to-side asymmetries leading to faulty movement patterns. Also, these imbalances can occur bilaterally from overtraining certain muscle groups and neglecting antagonistic muscles or associated stabilizing muscles. Last, repetitive movements and postures can create mobility or flexibility imbalances that adversely effect our postural alignment. A detailed biomechanical examination will properly identify and diagnose these imbalances and ‘Corrective Exercises’ will fix them.
Movement Re-education exercises are designed to help the patient learn to move in a biomechanically efficient way. This is needed when patients have developed faulty and inefficient movement patterns that place undue strain on particular areas of the body leading to repetitive stress syndromes. These ‘faulty’ movement patterns can be diagnosed and fixed with focused movement ‘re-education’ training. Research suggests it takes hundreds of repetitions to develop central nervous system ‘motor memory’ (e.g. a new motor pattern) for a new task; BUT, once a dysfunctional or inefficient motor pattern has been developed it takes thousands (even tens of thousands!) of repetitions to re-learn previously developed (faulty) motor recruitment behaviors. So let’s get started! Stop ‘living’ with the problem – let’s fix the root cause.
Core Stabilization. A very popular term – Often used, but rarely understood. First, ‘Core Stabilization’ does NOT mean abdominal exercises! (Especially not ‘traditional’ ones such as crunches or sit-ups) What we’re really talking about is the ability to move in a way that transfers force through the body’s ‘core’ efficiently and without undue strain. Goals of ‘Core Stabilization’ exercises DO NOT include a six-pack. They DO include:
1) The elimination of inefficient or ‘sloppy’ movements (termed ‘instability’) during a given task.
2) The reduction of ‘buckling’ or ‘hinging’ at a postural weak links.
3) Balancing of trunk muscles to create postural stability.
Far too often athletes make one of two errors:
Demonstration of a stable quadruped bird dog.1) they focus on training the muscles they can see, or
2) they hyper-focus on muscles primarily used during their particular sport (e.g. runners going into the gym and doing more Quad training).
We ignore the deeper ‘stabilizing muscles’ that, while not sexy, are of paramount importance to improve performance and prevent injury. A common saying in the Physical Therapy profession is ‘You can not fire a cannon off of a row boat’ – Stability is Key!