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Corrective Exercise: A Definition | Boddicker Performance

Filed under: corrective exercise, injuries, Program Design, strength training

Corrective Exercise: A Definition

by on Jul 14th, 2010

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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?


Carson Boddicker

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Leave a Comment »7 Comments
  • Mark Young July 14, 2010

    “you don’t agree with good coaching, get out of the industry.”

    Can I get an Amen?


  • Michael July 14, 2010

    Amen…there unfortunately are trainers/fitness professionals and PT’s out there who allow clients/patients to continue movement that is dysfunctional all in the name of “reahb”, “treatment” etc… It is always good to step back, watch them move and if it doesn’t look right, correct it. Could be an exercise, could be a verbal cue, could be RNT ala Gray Cook, or a manual approach. in the words of Rodney King…”Can’t we all just get along?”
    Thanks Carson

  • Sam Leahey July 17, 2010

    I would venture to say many times the people who want to delegate “corrective exercise” to other professions are merely masking their own insecurities for incompetency.

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