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Corrective Exercise: The Antibiotic for Dysfunctional Movement

Have you ever gotten sick and been prescribed an antibiotic to clear up the infection or bug you may have? Of course you have. I don’t think the concept of using an antibiotic is foreign to anyone, so it makes for a great analogy with corrective exercise. If you want to be successful at clearing dysfunctional movement and enhancing performance, getting your clients to do a little homework is almost a necessity. Not many trainers Jared's Camera 495or therapist I know have the luxury of seeing their clients on a daily basis, so to improve results, teaching your clients a couple things to do on their own can go a long way.

 

About a year ago, I came up with a great analogy that has really helped reinforce the importance of doing some minimal work to help clear up general, foundational movement. Like I said previously, in order to enhance our results, we’re going to need our clients doing a little extra reinforcement on their own. When I’m explaining the corrective exercise/s to clients, I’ll usually bring up the antibiotic analogy. Since I’ve started using this analogy, I’ve seen an increase in compliance. I think relating something new (corrective exercise or specific warm-ups) to something their familiar with (taking an antibiotic) helps them understand a little better…and with a better understanding comes an increase in adherence.

 

If you know anything about antibiotics, you should know that when you’re prescribed an antibiotic, you usually have to take it a few times a day for a set number of days, or until your prescription is gone. Even if you start to feel a little better within the first day, you’ll still take the prescription until it’s gone. The consistency of taking your medications helps your body heal. Corrective exercise is no different. Both mobility and motor control issues can take some time to clear up, and honestly it varies from individual to individual, so improving consistency is one of the most important things you can do. Their lifestyle and other non-gym related activities are more than likely a leading culprit to the way they move, so the more you can intervene and put in some reinforcements the better.

 

So, if you’re having any issues with compliance with your clients, I’d suggest using this analogy. The ability to relate this new concept to something they’re familiar with will help enhance your results while making your clients and prospects much happier. Clients and prospects are always happy when they understand things and feel comfortable. If you consistently talk over their head and fail to understand how to relate things to things they’re familiar with, you’re probably going to have issues with compliance. Hope this analogy helps improve your clients’ adherence to your programming and helps you get some serious results. As always, I’d love to hear any questions you guys have in the comments below.

Breaking down the T-Spine

Have you ever struggled with shoulder mobility issues…either with yourself, or with some of your clients? If so, the thoracic spine should be the first place to check. When we see limitations within shoulder mobility, one of the first things we need to do is to screen out the T-Spine. This will give us the information to help guide our programming. I’m going to write a different program and choose different exercises based upon my findings, so this additional information can come in to be extremely valuable when you’re developing a program.

 

When I’m looking at the T-Spine, I want to see a few different motions and see what it can and can’t do. I’m going to check to see how well you can flex your T-Spine and go into a flexion pattern. I’m also going to address extension and see how well the T-Spine tolerates extension patterns. Finally, I’m going to see how well the T-Spine rotates. The combination of flexion, extension, and rotation give you a complete snapshot of what’s going on with the spine. The screens I’m going to show you below will help you breakdown the T-spine and dial in your upper body programming.

 

 

In the videos, I talk about the range of motion you should be able to see within the spine. First things first…we need to find out if we’re dealing with a mobility issue, or a stability issue. If we find limitations, we’re going to address either the mobility or stability problem that’s limiting the spine to move well. Review the videos above to find out more about how to identify if it’s a true mobility issue, or if the limitation is coming from a stability or motor control issue. These findings will help guide your programming. Check out the videos below to see how we address both mobility and stability. These are a few of our favorite exercises and drills to help improve the way the T-spine moves:

 

Mobility:

Foam Roll TSpine

Tennis Ball TSpine

Bench TSpine Ext.

Assisted Lumbar Locked Reachbacks

Stability:

Prone T Spine Ext.

What’s That Back There?

Upper Rolling Prone to Supine

Quadruped Reachbacks

Kneeling Rotations

 

Getting the Most out of Your Medicine Balls

Medicine balls are one of my absolute favorite training tools out there. I use them all the time, and I use them with just about everyone. Since the medicine ball is one of our most popular training tools we use in the gym, understanding a thing or two about them comes in handy…especially if you’re training groups or have minimal equipment to choose from.

 

Size Doesn’t Matter

If you’re training for general fitness and not looking for any specific speed adaptations, choosing the ball size is simple…It Doesn’t Really Matter. Using some basic physics equations, you’ll quickly be able to see that we can get the same power output with two different size balls. Let’s look at a quick example:

 

Power = Work / Time

Work = Force x Distance

Power Equation

I’m going to make up a quick scenario to help explain:

John uses a 10lb. medicine ball to do some overhead slams, and Will does the exact same exercise as John…only he’s using a 5lb. ball instead. John and Will are about the same height, weight, and pretty similar in strength. So, if John and Will are using different size medicine balls, are they both able to develop the same amount of power?

The answer is YES!

 

Let’s do the math real quick.

Since we need to know what Work is to determine Power outputs, we’ll start there.

 

John

Force = 10lb. medicine ball

Distance = Let’s say the ball travels 5 feet while doing the exercise

10 x 5 = 50

So…Work = 50

 

Power = Work (50) / Time

Let’s say the medicine ball slam took 1 second to complete

Power = 50 / 1

Power Output = 50

 

Will

Force = 5lb. medicine ball

Distance = 5 feet

5 x 5 = 25

So…Work = 25

 

Power = 25 / Time

Let’s say the medicine ball slam took half the time since the weight is cut in half, so .5 seconds

Power = 25 / .5

Power Output = 50

Even though John and Will are using different size medicine balls, they’re still able to generate the same power output with this exercise. So, if you’re working with groups, encourage your participants to grab different size medicine balls as they go through each round. If they used a 10lb ball the first round, have them switch to a smaller ball and encourage them to move the ball quicker.

 

Choosing the Right Ball

Medicine balls come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I definitely have a favorite, but the two common types of balls I use on a regular basis are:

 

Dynamax or Perform Better Padded Medicine Balls

 

PB Med Ball

 

These medicine balls have less rebound and are softer to the touch. Not only are these medicine balls softer to the touch, the larger size typically makes them easier to handle. This comes in great if you’re using medicine balls for partner exercises. The softer they are and easier to catch…the better.

 

Non-Padded Medicine Balls

If you take away the padding, you’ll typically get a ball that has lots of rebound. These medicine balls are great for long tosses into a brick wall, or they also help improve the speed of the rebound effect. If you’re dealing with a coordinated individual, this quick rebound can come in handy to promote a completely different training effect over what a padded ball can do.

 

Most of our clients use the padded balls above. However, I’ll specifically give some people a non-padded ball and work on tempo slams to give them a different training stimulus.

 

PB Med Balls 2

 

Slam Balls

These are another great option for the less coordinated individual. Since they are filled with sand, they will immediately die when they hit the floor. There will be little to no rebound, so if you are working with someone that has poor reactive abilities, this ball may be a good option for them. They’ll still be able to generate a lot of power with these balls, however, they won’t have to worry about the skill of catching a rebound. Slam balls are great, but they do require some mobility to pick up from the ground each time. If you’re having a tough time keeping good form to return the ball, simply try doing more kneeling medicine ball work with these. This will eliminate the repetitive bending of the spine or poor squatting mechanics to get the ball each time.

PB Slam Ball

If you have any questions about how to best utilize a medicine ball in group training, I’d love to hear it. Also, I’d love to hear some of your favorite medicine ball drills for group training. Feel free to post in the comments section below…I’d love to help or quite possibly get some cool ideas from you.