Not everyone is lucky enough to have a robust and healthy body, and some people are unlucky enough to have injuries or conditions that require them to do corrective exercises. Here we'll look at what this means and how you can get started on the road to corrective exercise yourself.
When you think of an injury, you probably picture something like a sprained ankle, a cut finger, or a broken bone. When you picture corrective exercise, you probably imagine lying on the couch with your leg propped up and wrapped in ice; we'll get into that later.
What is a "corrective" exercise?
Corrective exercises, or "rehab" as it's sometimes called, are designed to undo the damage caused by injuries or bad habits. At Mpower Fitness Chino, rehab is also used to fix imbalances in the body that can lead to pain and hurt later.
An imbalance is when one part of your body isn't correctly working with all the other parts. Sometimes you get an imbalance because of an accident, but things like simple repetition often cause them. When a particular movement is repeated repeatedly, the body becomes so good at doing that one thing that it stops working in a balanced way with all the other parts of your body.
For example, if you do a lot of side bends with dumbbells to work your obliques (the muscles on the side of your body), your obliques will get strong, and the muscles on the other side of your body, like your lower back and abdominals, won't work as well. Other common imbalances include:
- having one shoulder higher than the other or one shoulder blade sticking out further than the other (also known as "winging" or "scapula protraction")
- having one hip higher or lower than the other, or one leg shorter or longer than the other
- overusing specific muscles, like your abs and glutes, while underusing others, like your hamstrings
These side bends with dumbbells are an excellent example of simple repetition leading to an imbalance in your obliques and lower back.
Luckily, adding these corrective exercises to your routine can help undo the damage!
How do you know if you need corrective exercises?
If you're having chronic pain or problems moving around, there's a pretty good chance that you've got some imbalances in your body. The first step is to assess a doctor, physical therapist, personal trainer, or chiropractor. They will give you an accurate diagnosis of your injury or problem and what kind of corrective exercises you need.
They might want to start with some simple exercises, like glute bridges or planks, to see if the pain goes away before recommending more complicated ones. Sometimes it's a good idea for them to take an X-Ray or MRI scan to ensure there isn't any internal damage.
If you get an MRI, don't be surprised if it looks like you've had a car accident. One of the main things rehab is designed to do is undo the damage caused by accidents, so there's a good chance your muscles will look wholly messed up!
Once you're diagnosed with what kind of corrective exercises you need, follow along on this video series, and you'll be on your way to having a robust and healthy body!
Are you ready to start correcting those imbalances?
Don't worry—it's not as scary as it sounds. Just take it slow at the beginning and listen to your doctor or physical trainer. Mpower Fitness Coaching in Chino, CA can help you correct these imbalances.
We'll start with simple ones, like glute bridges and planks, to make sure your pain goes away. Once you're feeling better, you can start adding more advanced exercises like lunges or squats!
For more awesome corrective exercise videos, go to YouTube and look at the most relevant workouts for you.
- If your pain comes when you're sitting or lying down, then use these exercises to fix that problem area
- If you have bad posture, then watch the videos on improving that using the Planky and Quadruped techniques
- If you're an athlete with specific performance goals, check out the videos on core stability and upper body exercises.
- If you get pain or problems when you run or jog, you should read our article fixing running injuries.
If your problem is complicated and needs a lot of rehabs, then visit a doctor or physical trainer to see what they recommend.
Not sure what kind of exercises you need?
Then ask a doctor, physical therapist, personal trainer, or chiropractor to give you specific corrective exercises that fit your injury and goals.
If you want to correct your form and posture, however, here's a list of corrective exercises that you can learn from Mpower Fitness Chino:
- Prone shoulder external rotation - Lie on your stomach with your arms straight out to the sides. Bend one elbow at a 90º angle while keeping that arm on the ground. Put a rolled-up towel under the bent elbow for support, if necessary. Rotate your shoulder by bringing your hand toward the opposite side until it is in front of you or parallel to the ground. Return to the starting position.
- Step-ups - Stand with your left side next to a step, box, or bench. With your left foot on the step, push up to stand on the step with both feet. Bring your right leg up and place it close behind your left leg. Slowly lower yourself back towards the ground and repeat.
- Single leg squats: Stand up straight, balancing on one foot with your arms stretched out in front of you for balance. Slowly bend your left knee and sit back onto your right leg as if you would sit in a chair behind you. Keep your chest high and try not to lean to either side. Stand back up and repeat.
- Bench kicks - Start in the same position as step-ups (standing on one foot with arms stretched out for balance). Bend your knee and kick your leg out behind you as if you are kicking something behind you. Return to the starting position and repeat.
- Hip bridges - Lie on your back with your legs bent and flat on the ground. Place a rolled-up towel under the small of your back for support, if necessary. Push down through your heels to lift your hips off the ground as high as you can go. Hold at the top of the movement for two seconds before lowering yourself back down.
Correcting imbalances in your body can be very difficult, but it's worth the effort in the long run, especially if you like to exercise or play sports. With these five corrective exercises from Mpower Fitness Chino, you will be well on your way to having a healthy and injury-free life!
Just make sure to always warm up before exercising and to always work with a doctor or personal trainer to make sure you're not doing anything incorrectly.