Just because it is called a corrective exercises does not mean that it is doing you any good!
Corrective exercise has turned into a term that many people use to describe movements that they think are beneficial to them but in actuality, they are not. Corrective exercise is right up there with “functional training,” “yoga therapy,” and “restorative yoga.” It is not what you call something that produces you the results that you desire, it is how they affect the tensegrity (balance) and bio-mechanical (movements) motions of your body.
A real corrective exercise will normalize (correct) an area of your body that is in essence “not doing its job!”
Lets take for example, the exercise: the “prone cobra” also called the Mckenzie press. It has been used for years, and in the case of yoga A LOT of years, to mobilize and strengthen the spine. For those of you who are not familiar with this stretch, it is when you lay down, on your stomach (prone) and you come up to either your forearms or your hands pushing your upper body up leaving your lower body on the ground. There are some slight differences depending of those who you talk to as whether or not the hips stay on the ground. For this example, it’s not important. The idea is that when you push yourself up, it will open the anterior (front) of your spinal joints and the disc will slide forward. And if you have enough space in your spine, then this is true…
Now, let’s look at how the body reacts to a motion like this. In the prone cobra, when you push yourself up your spine goes into extension (like if you were standing up and you arched your back) and now based on spinal mechanics the posterior (back) part of the spine pinches together.
So how is this a corrective exercise?
In short, this is NOT a corrective exercise! Most people who are performing this exercise have back pain, and are thinking that this will help. Now there a lot of reason why one could have back pain but for this example, let’s stick to just one. Gravity is constantly compressing us, and combined with too much sitting and not enough proper movements, causes improper loading and our spine takes the brunt of it. Many individuals have disc compression and they may not have any symptoms….yet, and for those individuals over the age of 50- they can almost guarantee that they too have disk compression, some degree of bulge/herniation/prolapse.
Now while have some disc compression and doing the prone cobra exercise, your spine is forced into extension and the posterior (back) part of the vertabrae is going to pinch the posterior (back) part of your disc even more. This will lead to further bulging/herniation/prolapse and cause a lot more back issues and pain.
So what is actually a corrective exercise for this?
As I stated at the beginning, a corrective exercise will correct and normalize a problem. When it comes to back pain and spinal compression….The #1….hands down…. best corrective exercise are ELDOA‘s. They are “stretch exercises” that pull one vertebrata away from another, providing much needed space. This space now allows your body to start to function better within that area. This means that your discs will now be able to start to rehydrate and regain their form and volume. Without compression, you will have SIGNIFICANTLY less pain. This means that you can start to live you life with more confidence in your body and be able to do the activities that you want to do.
SolCore Fitness has been successfully using ELDOA’s to relieve back and neck pain when other methods have failed. Our group class members in Santa Fe have gotten amazing results and now see this as an integral part of their fitness routine. If you are in the Santa Fe area and are looking for a corrective exercise program that will lay the foundation for a stronger, healthier, pain free you ….. then please contact us for a free consultation.
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