There seems to be a lot of hullabaloo surrounding the phrase “corrective exercise” in the industry. There are so many who endorse “corrective” exercises and equally many who think that realm should be strictly to those in the clinical world. I certainly believe in the value of corrective exercise, and wholeheartedly advocate for corrective exercise in programming. I just think it’s a matter of definition. For those who believe corrective exercise is “practicing outside the scope” (another buzz-phrase) and believe that the PT, ATC, and DC should do all “corrective” work, I come with a peace offering and a thought.
What we have is simply an error in communication.
If we are good at our jobs and especially competent in coaching the lifts in our programs, everything we do is (or should be) corrective or preventative in nature. Corrective exercise is exercise that reduces the stress on tissues from non-optimal movement patterns. It is no more complicated than that.
Poor movement patterns are sometimes a result of pain and pain is sometimes a result of poor movement patterns. The solution may often be the same. For this reason, it’s often why some coaches are able to take a person whose back screams during a squat, give a few quick cues and immediately the athlete’s back is pain free. Good coaching is sometimes “acute corrective exercise.”
Whether our tool of choice is a hip flexor stretch, a heel drop, or a back squat, if we’re really coaching it up and have evidence-informed decision making in program design, we are executing corrective exercise, the vessel just changes based on athlete need.
If we don’t agree with the vernacular, fine. Call it what you will. If you don’t agree with the principle, tell me why. If you don’t agree with good coaching, get out of the industry.
What do you think?