What is corrective exercise?

Corrective exercise

What is corrective exercise?

Do you ever wake up feeling achy or less mobile than you want to be? Have you ever wondered if work is a contributing factor? Or perhaps it’s your emotions affecting your health and wellbeing.

All these things can stop you accessing a healthier lifestyle, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

While it’s hard to escape from stress, anxiety and mental health difficulties today, exercise can help. Research suggests it can reduce symptoms and even prevent them in the first place.

In this post:

How corrective exercise connects mind and body to help you live better…

Corrective exercise: helping you move and feel better

When we’re stressed, anxious or traumatised our bodies can limit some of our movements. But by paying attention to specific areas of your body you can resolve imbalances without needing much equipment, time or space.

In short corrective exercise can help you to move and feel better.

A specialist uses static and dynamic assessments to find imbalances in your body, then designs an effective programme just for you. Tailored to your individual needs and goals.

It could be a regular warm up session for your existing fitness routines. Or you may want to work on pre- and post-op rehabilitation one-to-one. Perhaps it’s something totally different.

I use the NASM Corrective Exercise Continuum (CEx) to reteach better movement patterns in four simple steps. This addresses the problems caused by over- and under-active muscles to reduce pain and increase your movement with a regular activity schedule.

The four steps on the Corrective Exercise Continuum
NASM have created an excellent outline of the four stages in corrective exercise:

Corrective Exercise Continuum

Building on this, here’s how I can help you…

Stage one: inhibit overactive muscles

A foam roller can help you ease into the day or start your workout routine well. It’s just the beginning and is excellent preparation for stage two. After using the roller you’ll be ready for a functional fitness or exercise session.

It’s best to use a roller on the parts of your body you use regularly and involve large muscle groups. This deeply massages the tissues but also makes your nervous system respond positively as you roll over areas of discomfort or stiffness.

Stage two: lengthen (or stretch) shortened muscles

At this stage you focus on muscles that need stretching. Given the way we sit, lie and even walk nowadays most of us would benefit from releasing tension and increasing our range of motion. It’s especially good for tennis players, like me, who may have a reduced swing length due to build-up of stress in the neck and shoulders.

Static stretches will calm your muscles down. I use them daily but especially after difficult days when my work and life balance need attention.

Many of my clients have improved their stride length, increased their movement in the pool and around a tennis court.

Stage three: activate underactive muscles

Here the work really begins…

With a bespoke programme we can look at which of your muscles are underactive by activating them individually. Along with questionnaires and meaningful dialogue this should increase how much you can move and how well you can do it.

Although the exercise world has many names and methods to get you the body you’d like, I always pay attention to your psychological and physiological limits. Mental or physical disabilities could be causing you imbalance, but they do not have to be a barrier to a life well lived.

Stage four: integrate with multi-joint movements

By stage four we can look back at the work you’ve already done to connect into your body. Then add in movements that you encounter daily, using lots of your joints. Over time (normally three to six months), with a regular strength and fitness schedule, you’ll increase how well you can move even further.

How to improve your quality of life with corrective exercise

Corrective exercise treats the mind as much as the body and can improve your quality of life. This is why we, at Sweet Mental Health, offer it as part of our wellness package.

Along with counselling you can become more balanced – as your mind and body learn to work together for a positive outcome.

What are your thoughts? Would you like to discuss how the wellness package could help you? Book in for a free consultation now.

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