On the other hand, once a trainer sniffs the phrase "corrective exercise," athletes almost inevitably get this look in their eyes that says, "How about I do Tabata sprints all the way out to my car instead?"
I can't say I blame them. No one wants to spend 30 minutes activating their glutes—no one. And while having someone stand on a BOSU ball while shaking a body-blade in one hand and juggling oranges in the other may be some people's definition of corrective or, (excuse me while I throw up in my mouth) "functional," I'm pretty sure it's actually a waste of valuable training time.
Athletes don't want to feel like patients when working out. They want to train! And yet far too often, I've seen coaches and personal trainers take an overly cautious approach with clients, thereby failing to elicit the one thing that's most important: a training effect.
It's time for a new strategy, where you waste minimal time and get maximum transfer to your performance. Spread the word: Corrective exercise as you know it is dead!
WHAT CORRECTIVE EXERCISE SHOULDN'T BE This is why, if you research "corrective exercise," you're bound to get a kazillion pictures of BOSU balls, stability balls, wobble boards, and other balance-training tools. Sometimes, our role as a coach or trainer is to pull the reins a bit and help people get out of their own way. But this doesn't mean we need to begin acting like physical therapists—because we're not, and very few of us are qualified to pretend we are.
About 10-15 years ago, many coaches and trainers decided to take unstable surface training —a modality popularized in the physical therapy realm for injured people— and apply it toward healthy clients and athletes in a training setting. This is why, if you research "corrective exercise," you're bound to get a kazillion pictures of BOSU balls, stability balls, wobble boards, and other balance-training tools.
I don't want to turn this into a diatribe against training on an unstable surface, because there is a time and place for it. But when applied to—or inflicted upon—healthy individuals in the middle of a workout, all it does is decrease power output, promote faulty movement patterns, and suck energy away from more deserving activities.
So let's make this absolutely clear: Unless you have a very good reason to do unstable surface training, avoid it. It's not corrective, and it's not correct. If necessary, tell your trainer that Uncle Tony gave you a free pass.
GOOD TECHNIQUE THE ULTIMATE CORRECTIVE If I had to summarize my point of view in five words, it would be this: Correct movement is corrective exercise!
If coaches and trainers took the time to properly coach their clients and athletes, rather than trying to impress them or make them feel "worked"—i.e., weak—I'm positive they'd see better results.
Likewise, if you take the time to learn how to perform certain movements correctly—which often involves regressing exercises to your current ability—you'll not only see marked improvements in your overall performance, but also how you look and feel.
by Tony Gentilcore