Corrective Exercise or Bubble Wrap

I had a chance to catch up on the phone with my old mate Alwyn Cosgrove last night as I drove up the M1 and we covered a lot of ground during our 60-minute conversation (once we had got past the usual BS about how he beat me in 3 fights - yada yada yada!).

There were some interesting conversation points and I'll share them with you over a number of posts this month.

The first thing we chatted about was a trend toward 'complexification'. I think I made that word up. It's a problem in the fitness profession and I'm seeing it in professional sport too. Corrective exercise has become 'on trend' and I'm seeing PT's and S&C coaches that assess the crap out of their athletes/clients and then develop the most complicated training programme that takes care of all of their movement dysfunction. The big problem is, the client never actually gets round to doing any actual training! This is a big problem if you're a pro-athlete. At some point they will need to train. It's also a problem from the general punter turning up at the gym for a fitness session. They want to walk out with a bit of a sweat on. I agree that we should look at corrective techniques and I accept that there are times when it's important but I think we are in danger of losing sight of the fact that sometimes we just need to get in a train.

There are days when I walk into the gym and just start cranking out my session, no foam rolling, no remedial stretches, no scapular setting or core activation. I just get on and train, and boy do I feel great! I also feel a lot better than the person next to me who is being taken through their 60 minute corrective exercise session. We share a look as I leave (havinng completed my workout) and they are still only halfway through their corrective exercise session (they will be allowed to squat in 12-weeks time!!!).

We are in danger of making everything far too complicated and worst of all we are in danger of convincing our clients/athletes that there's loads wrong with them and there's a bunch of stuff they can't do.

Stop telling athletes and clients what they can't do. Find stuff they can do and start coaching instead of wrapping them up in bubble wrap!

An amazing thing may happen, they may actually get better by simply cracking on and getting some work done. Now there's a thought!