• Home
  • About Rick
  • Courses
  • Products
  • Services
  • Contact
  • Survey

Excellent Foam Roller Exercise to Stretch Out Your Hip Flexors


Filed Under (Corrective Exercise, Fitness, Foam Rolling, Hip Injury) by Rick Kaselj on 25-01-2014

I like using the foam roller with my clients.

I even did a 2-hour presentation on it called Your Foam Roller Exercise Guide:


Okay, back to what I was going to talk about.

I think the foam roller is the most neglected piece of equipment in most gyms.

One of my favourite stretches with the foam roller is the 90-90 stretch.

I have talked about the 90-90 stretch before.  It is a great exercise to target the hip flexors, specifically rectus femoris.

You can do this stretch without the foam roller, but using the foam roller makes it easier for you and your client to do the exercise, especially in a fitness centre which has very uncomfortable floors to kneel on.

Excellent Foam Roller Exercise to Stretch Out Your Hip Flexors

CLICK HERE to watch the video on YouTube

Let me explain the exercise in a little more detail.

Place the flat side of the foam roller on the ground.  Have your client kneel on the foam roller with a focus on having their ankle in maximum plantar flexion.  Do not let your client have their foot off the edge of the foam roller, make sure it is on the foam roller.

Kneeling on a Foam Roller

The kneeling knee starts off at 90 degrees of flexion, but you make sure it is in line with the hip of the same side.

The opposite leg is at greater than 90 degrees of flexion with the foot on the ground.  The foot is inline with that side hip.  (This is very important!)

Now you contract your abdominals in order to prevent any lumbar extension, which is a compensation strategy and takes away from the stretch.

Then you move the hips forward, bringing the kneeling leg into hip extension and the front leg into 90 degrees of knee flexion.

Your client is looking for a light stretch in rectus femoris of the kneeling leg.

They hold this position for 30 seconds and perform the stretch twice on each side.

Try the exercise out with your next client that has tight hip flexors.

Now before I go.  The negative part about using the half foam roller for this stretch is it is difficult to fully flatten (plantar flexion) the foot.  Some people will be too tall and their foot will hang off the foam roller.  Plus if your client is wearing shoes, this limits plantar flexion even more.  Just keep that in mind.

This is a great stretch, give it a go.

Rick Kaselj, MS

P.S. – If you are looking for a program to help you loosen up your hip flexors, make sure to check out Fixing Tight Hip Flexors:

fixing tight hip flexors

 Rick Kaselj, MS


Common Stretching Mistake Runners Make


Filed Under (Corrective Exercise, Exercise Rehabilitation, Fitness, Run Injuries) by Rick Kaselj on 20-07-2013

Here is another post from the draft folder of EFI.

It targets runners but it is applicable to anyone that does calf stretching.

~ Rick


I just wrapped up the Injury Free Running course, and one great little point came up during the class.

==>  CLICK HERE to watch the video a Common Stretch Mistake Runners Make

We had a student, we assessed her running by observing her running. Then we looked at her range of motion, functional strength, and core strength.

Then we started implemented the corrective exercise program.

When we were doing the gastroc stretch, what we found was when we initially did the gastroc stretch she didn’t feel the stretch at all. Even though the results of her assessment showed it was tight.

A lot of times I end up seeing this with clients.

You see this with many people that stretch their calf, especially runners.  Many times the toe out is a common compensation strategy in order for the ankle to get greater range of motion in dorsiflexion.  With this compensation, the runner avoids the part of the calf that needs to be stretched (the lateral head of the calf).

They’ll do the gastroc stretch that they usually do, and they won’t end up feeling any kind of stretch.

Normal Calf Stretch – with right foot toed out.

The first thing I do to correct them is to make sure that that back foot is pointing straight ahead.

Right Foot Straight Ahead – For many people this will target the calf.

Another way that I can intensify the stretch and focus more on the lateral gastroc is if I get them to bring the heel out. That ends up focusing more on that lateral gastrocs, and they oftentimes will get a better calf stretch. For many people the lateral calf/gastrocs is tight and needs to be stretched.

Toe In – Internally rotating in the hip and focusing more on the lateral part of the calf. For many this will lead to a stronger stretch.

Side View of the Toe In Stretch – No rotation in the back knee and the body is in a straight line.

There you go, give that a go.

The first step is to correct the client and move the foot so the toe is straight ahead.  After this correction, you get feedback from you client to see if this changes the stretch. If there still is not a stretch, you can move the foot in by rotating at the hip. That will make the stretch more effective.

A program that I put together to balance out the body to help with running is called Corrective Exercises for Running Injury-free. You can check it out here.


Rick Kaselj, MS


Benefits of the Kettlebell for Corrective Exercise


Filed Under (Corrective Exercise, Fitness) by Rick Kaselj on 24-09-2012

I am liking the kettlebell more and more.

When I was in Las Vegas last month, the gym at the Vdara had a rack of kettlebells.  This was the first time that I have ever seen them in a hotel gym.

It was cool to play with them.

I am starting to use them for injury recovery, mobility and for a workout.

Now Forest is an experienced kettlebell guy and he is going to share with you how you can use kettlebells for corrective exercise, enjoy.


At first glance, a kettlebell (KB) looks like a cast-iron wrecking ball.

The fundamental HardStyle kettlebell exercise is the swing.

And chances are, if you have pain issues of any kind, this type of fast, ballistic movement probably looks like the LAST thing you’d want to do …

But, quite to the contrary, KB’s are a great tool for corrective exercise training. They can be used to treat individuals with pain in the low back, shoulder, knee, ankle, and much more.

In this article, I’m going to talk about a few specific reasons why kettlebells are a great tool for corrective exercise – and then give you a sample KB workout to get you started!

3 Benefits of the Kettlebell for Corrective Exercise

Here are three great reasons why the kettlebell is a great tool for corrective exercise applications:

#1) KB’s teach good lifting mechanics

The odd shape of the kettlebell – essentially a fat-grip handle with a ball-shaped weight attached to it – makes it (among other things) unwieldy. But – objects in the real world are odd-shaped as well – so this is a GOOD thing if we’re trying to teach proper lifting mechanics – which is key in proper movement.

As an example, the KB sumo deadlift trains an individual to pick up a weight correctly from the ground. This movement can then be progressed to a swing when the individual is ready. (See the video below for a demo of each of these exercises.)

#2) KB’s require dynamic movement – which is present in real life

Pain many times is not present when a subject lays still – but presents itself in various ways during dynamic movement.

For example, shoulder pain may not be present when the subject is in a seated position, but when attempting to get up off the floor, the pain may be aggravated.

Training with kettlebells is a great way to integrate dynamic movement into the pain relief progression. Going back to the kettlebell swing example, this is a movement that requires dynamic – and actually ballistic – motion under a load, which happens frequently in real life.

#3) KB training demands perfect muscle activation – which in turn protects and stabilizes the body

Proper execution of all foundational kettlebell movements demand muscle activation (especially scapular stabilization) of those muscle groups that protect the spine, lower back and pelvis – and this is key for taking a preventive approach to pain management.

So – now you know that KB’s are a great exercise modality for corrective exercise training – here is a sample workout you could do:

3-Part Kettlebells for Corrective Exercise Workout


Part 1 – Warm Up

Box Squat

Hamstring/Hip Flexor Stretch Combo

Perform these two exercises back-to-back without rest for about :30 each non-stop; repeat the pair of warm-up movements twice without rest.

Here’s a quick video of how to perform this warm up:

Part 2 – Workout

• KB swings – 15 (two hand)
• Active Rest’ Cardio: ~:30
• Plank: ~:30 hold
• Active Rest’ Cardio: ~:30

Continue this sequence non-stop for 10 Minutes.

Here’s a video of how to perform the HardStyle kettlebell swing:

Part 3 – Cool Down

5 minutes of static stretching – tight muscle groups only

In conclusion, although your first impression may be otherwise, kettlebells are actually a great tool for corrective exercise.

Three big reasons why kettlebells are great for corrective exercises are:

  • kettlebells teach good lifting mechanics
  • they require dynamic movement
  • they demand perfect muscle activation to perform correctly

The workout provided in this article is a great starting point for your training in corrective kettlebell exercise!

If you would like to check out more workouts that I have for the kettlebell, you can check out the 10×10 Kettlebell Workout Solution here:

Thanks for reading, and train hard.

Forest Vance, MS

About Forest Vance

Forest Vance holds a Master’s degree in Human Movement and personal training certifications through the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

He is also a level II Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certified Instructor, Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist, Certified Performance Enhancement Specialist, and Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach.

Over the last 8 years, Forest has experience as a personal trainer, group fitness/boot camp instructor, fitness manager, and health club general manager. He currently works as the owner and head trainer at his Sacramento functional training gym.

He also maintains a network of fitness-related websites, makes regular guest appearances on many others, has been featured in national newspaper, radio, television, and other media, and is the creator/author of numerous books, DVD’s, and digitally delivered workout programs/systems.




Goblet Squat as a Gluteus Maximus Exercise


Filed Under (Corrective Exercise, Elbow Pain, Fitness) by Rick Kaselj on 24-08-2012

It has been a great week.

Lots of questions have come in from email and Facebook.

Goblet Squat and Gluteus Maximus

Here is one that was asked about Tyler Bramlett’s article on Importance of Movement Progressions for Post Surgery Knee Recovery

So, why is the goblet squat a good exercise for gluteus maximus activation?

– Tim D

First of all, any squat when done correctly is an excellent glute activation exercise. The goblet squat is simply the best way to go when rehabbing injuries or teaching a beginner how to squat.

With regular barbell squats, people tend to have a hard time getting into the right position. Back squats can hurt where the bar goes and often times people can’t keep their torso upright enough, putting too much stress on the back. Front squats hurt most people’s wrists and tend to emphasize the quads.

With the goblet squat, the weight is centered right in front of your chest, which gives you a counterbalance that allows you to go deeper, safely. And since you are holding the weight in front of you with your elbows facing down, you can maintain your natural spine curve throughout the exercise and even use your elbows to open up your hips.

Simply put, the goblet squat is the safest way to teach someone to squat correctly and, provided you have the ability to fire your glutes, squats are one of the best ways to teach your body how to apply force through your glutes.

Make sure to take a look at Tyler’s Warrior Warm Up. Great stuff that will help prevent injuries.


If I have Elbow Pain, Do I have to Stop My Training?

Jedd Johnson and I just finished up our coaching call for Fixing Elbow Pain customers.  It was great to have people on the line (Hugh, Scott, and others) and to have questions sent in.  We answered questions for about 70 minutes.

Here are some of our notes from the call:

Does your training have to be completely pain free or is it OK to still have some pain (but not so much)?

Returning to training for me usually involves changing the exercises to those that do not produce the pain response.

You can accomplish this by changing the implement being used, or by changing the positioning of your body– kind of like ergonomics.

These two methods have enabled me to keep training without losing strength and without making the injury worse.

A good example is, instead of doing barbell curls (which for me creates a lot of stress in the elbow) I will use an EZ Curl Bar, the kind with the wavy angles in the middle. This allows me to train the arms without aggravating the elbows.

Another thing to keep in mind is I follow the guideline of “attack the weakness” or “attack the injury”, meaning I will stimulate the area using specialized tools like SMR balls, foam rollers, etc, as well as other implements that enable me to focus in on the area that is hurt. This helps me to keep the healing process going and keep blood flowing into the area.

For example: I’m currently doing some grip specific exercises like 2hp, Fatdumbbell lifts, some gripperwork and I’m doing those with (semi) maximum weights.

This sounds like a good mix. If you keep experimenting, you may be able to find variations of these lifts that cause you no aggravation at all and you can train even more intensely. If not, feel free to stick with the lighter weights and always keep in mind warm-up, stretching post training, and increasing blood flow into the area.

If you have Fixing Elbow Pain, we will be sending out the recording of the call next week.  If you don’t have Fixing Elbow Pain, you can get it here.



I have Hip Dysplasia, what exercises should I do?

I had a friend, Shawna Kaminski, send me a question about hip dysplasia, as she has a client that has it and is wondering what to do and not to do when it comes to exercise.

Hip dyspasia is where bones of the hip are not aligning well with the hip joint.  This can occur as a infant, child, or adult.

The first thing to do is to get guidelines and recommendations from the doctor who diagnosed you. They will have the best idea of how severe it is and what you are able to to.

After this I would focus on minimizing pain.  Avoid positions and activities that lead to pain.  Pain will inhibit the recovery process.

When it comes to exercise, be cautious of single leg exercises, single leg jumping, and running.  These activities put a lot of stress on the hip joint.  In time you can build up to them but monitor how your hip feels.

I would work on performing:

  • bilateral squats
  • unilateral squats – starting off with balance and then progressing
  • lunges – starting off with static and moving to dynamic
  • glutueus medius exercises
  • gluteus maximus exercises

I hope this gives you a start.

What is Coming Up: Gluteus Medius Exercises

I have a preliminary graphic for next week’s Injury of the Month gluteus medius exercises.

It looks great:

I know it is not a specific injury but I use gluteus medius exercises for so many injuries, especially lower body injuries, so I thought it would be a great idea to put together research backed exercises that target the gluteus medius.

I know this will help with lower body injury recovery and prevention.

I am also doing one on gluteus maximus exercises.

With the theme being glutes, I will also have an interview for you on gluteal amnesia.  Watch for it.

That is it for today.

I will be working on this month’s Injury of the Month over the weekend and we will chat next week.

Rick Kaselj, MS



Nick Rosencutter on Corrective Exercise and Performance


Filed Under (Corrective Exercise, Fitness, Interviews) by Rick Kaselj on 11-07-2012

Back with you today with an interview.  Today it is on corrective exercise and performance.

It is with Nick Rosencutter, who has been on EFI before.  His stuff on corrective exercise and performance was very popular so I asked him for an interview so we can go into things in more depth.

One other exciting thing is Nick is one of the other contributors to the next edition of Muscle Imbalances Revealed, which will be out July 31.

Lets get to the interview.

Enjoy the interview!

CLICK HERE to listen to the interview with Nick Rosencutter on Corrective Exercise and Performance.


CLICK HERE to listen to the interview with Nick Rosencutter on Corrective Exercise and Performance.

What Nick Rosencutter Shares in the Interview:

  • Who is Nick Rosencutter?
  • What is his definition of corrective exercise?
  • How to incorporate corrective exercise within an exercise program?
  • What is classified as corrective exercise?
  • Shares his dream of having his own fitness facility and tips on how to actually own one.
  • What is the most important thing he had learned in owning a gym?
  • Few corrective exercises nuggets he forgot to mention
  • What are the things that fitness professionals should consider when it comes to starting their own facility?

A few things you need to know about listening to the interview:

  • To listen to the interview, scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the play button symbol. If you do not have time to listen to it right now, just click the “download” button and download it to your computer. Then you can listen to it on your computer when you like.
  • Also the interview is up on iTunes. You can listen to it HERE or subscribe to the itunes podcast and get all the interviews when they are ready. Enjoy!
  • If you use Chrome as your web browser, at times it can act up when playing the interview. I would suggest listening to the interview in another web browser (Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.)
  • Here is a video explaining how to download the interview recording

If you have a neat specialization or business information that would be of benefit for fitness professionals to know about, please do contact me and I would love to share it with the EFI world.

If you know of a fitness professional that may benefit from this, please forward it onto them.

Take care.

Rick Kaselj, MS

P.S. – If you liked this kind of interview, here are some other interviews that may help you:




Functional Stability Training Reveiw


Filed Under (Core Stability, Corrective Exercise, Fitness) by Rick Kaselj on 20-04-2012

I just got a copy of Functional Stability Training with Eric Cressey and Mike Reinold.


As usual, it was amazing stuff. Here is a clip from the DVDs:

Rick and His History of Core Stuff

Before I get into the review, let me chat about core stuff.

I was introduced into core stuff in 1997.  I was working at a physical therapy clinic and the physical therapists at the clinic asked me to do some research and put an in-service together for them on core stability exercises.

The class was a hit with the physical therapists and it led to me teaching the class at Simon Fraser University.

Over the next 4 years, this led to the building of a 16 hour course related to core stability for the rehab client, on advanced core stability, core stability of the shoulder, and core stability of the lower back.

I am always excited to see what new research is out there when it relates to the core, or what leaders in the field like Reinold and Eric Cressey have to say about it.  I know I am always open to new idea and I am always learning.  In the end it benefits my clients, those that attend my courses, and myself.

Let me go through the program and highlight a few things I learned.

Module #1 – Introduction to Functional Stability (Length – 52:26)

This is where they explain their concept of core training.  They explain it is based on numerous disciplines.

Mike started explaining what FST is and how it is based on four components:

  • motor control
  • proprioception
  • dynamic stabilization
  • neuromuscular control
Mike also spent a good chunk of time talking about what creates dynamic stability and going through his perspective of the 4 things that play a role in it.  He discussed how dynamic ligament tension, joint compression, force couples, and neuromuscular control impact dynamic stability.  It was great to hear his perspective and get insight into how he interprets things.

Few highlights from this module:

  • reverse posturing is a big thing we need to focus in on with our clients
  • isolation training has an important role in the process of rehab and performance
  • how the hips might be the place to start with a lot of things we do as trainers, coaches and therapists
  • muscle imbalances affect the core in a negative way and need to be addressed
Here is a clip with Mike chatting:

Module #3 – Maintaining a Training Effect In Spite of Common Spine and Lower Extremity Injuries (Length – 1:00:48)

It was great they took the time to look at some stuff when it related to exercise and injuries:

This is great to stuff to see.  This module really focused on stuff that I love, which is injury and exercise stuff.  It is great to get the perspective of a strength coach and how he keeps getting training results, even if clients are injured.

Eric shared his experience working with 40 people that had spondylolysis.  He classified it as the new ACL epidemic in the sports performance world.

Eric went off on a tangent and commented on how many of the injuries that professional athletes have could be the result of what they did between 10 to 15 years of age.  The focus on competition and less on training, plus the early specialization of sports, has changed how people have developed.

Eric also talked in detail about disc herniations, hockey hips, sports hernias, and exercise considerations.  He also touched on anterior femoroacetabular impingement, anterior hip pain, femoral anterior glide syndrome, anterior knee pain, and ankle issues.

A few things that stood out:

  • look at the mechanism of injury and consider that when it comes to the exercise program

Module #6 – Performance Progression Lab & Advanced Stability Lab: Training Outside of Sagittal Plane (Time 56:20)

It was great having Mike go through bridges, bird dogs, side planks, and kneeling rotation exercises.  Hearing his cuing and seeing his progressions are things that I will use with my clients.

Mike focused on lower body and then Eric came in and started talking about upper body exercises.  Eric started with serratus anterior and lower trapezius work.  Then Eric went into his med ball stuff.  This was great.  A lot of stuff that I have never seen before, but what was more important than just the exercises was his program design.  I typed out 14 pages of notes full of little photos like this:

Enough of my little stills. Here is a clip from Eric, talking about med training he does with his athletes:

Other Things that I Like about FST:

  • I never get tired of listening to the Boston accent.  When I read Eric and Mike’s blogs, I make sure I read it in my mind with a Boston accent.  It make it more interesting and easier to remember the material.
  • I get a chuckle when coaches bring out their khakis for the camera.  Mike and Eric, did the same.  Nice.
  • It is always great to get new cuing for exercises and exercise progressions.
  • The little story that Eric shared about rubber and why there were so many faulty med-balls last year was very cool.
  • It was interesting to hear why Cressey does not spend much time on Olympic lifts with his athletes and spends more time doing medicine ball work.

>>> CLICK HERE to Check Out Functional Stability Training <<<

Okay, let me be honest.  I have only gone through 3 of the 6 modules but I am very very happy so far.  I have learned a number of exercises, got some great cuing tips, a bunch of progressions, was reminded of a bunch of stuff, and learned a stack of new stuff.

I will watch the rest next weekend as I have a long flight to Detroit and then off to Windsor to present.  Take care.

Okay, that’s it, have a great day.

Rick Kaselj, MS

Filtering Out My Spam Box


Filed Under (Corrective Exercise, Elbow Pain, Fitness, Rotator Cuff Exercises, Shoulder Injury) by Rick Kaselj on 15-03-2012

I was not really filtering out my spam box. These are a few things that were in my inbox and on Facebook. Let’s get to it.

Cure My Elbow Pain

This was a question that came up for the Muscle Imbalances Revealed – Upper Body (MIRU) coaching call.  I thought the answer would be of interest to you.

Can you tell me how to cure elbow pain? Basically it hurts if I do chin ups, lying dumbell skull crushers (I think that’s where I hurt it and a little on bench press). Also, can you tell me the other types of elbow pain there is (if any other) and if the treatment for curing would be different for each one?

Of the MIRU crew, Dr. Jeff Cubos took on the question.  Just a reminder that the MIRU crew will be holding a seminar this June on Spinal Health & Core Training.  We hope to see you there.

“Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to answer clinical conditions online.

There are many components to the elbow proper and far more components to pain itself.

I will say this, unless there was an acute trauma or structural deformity, the tissues surrounding the elbow may likely be overloaded. Aside from training that progresses too quickly or with too much load, I’d look to the thoracic and shoulder girdle regions.

Often the scapulothiracic joint complex lacks requisite dynamic or static control causing the muscles that cross the elbow to do more work. I’ll often start by addressing mobility issues, then go after control.

I really like quadruped both on elbows and hands for scapulothoracic control ensuring that the scapula is properly positioned or centrated throughout the movement. The hand should also have good contact with the floor in a slightly external rotated position with load being put at the 1st and 5th mcp and base of the palm. The fingers should be spread out.

It may also be worthwhile to seek the help of a clinician who does soft tissue therapy to address the quality of the local tissues and mobility of the distal tissues.

I hope that helps. Sorry I couldn’t be specific but you are more than welcome to email me.”

– Dr. Jeff Cubos

It is back to Rick.  I would say, get it looked at and get an accurate diagnosis and approval to start an exercise program.  If what you have is lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow, I will suggest this program:

What to do about Osteochondritis?

Tom, I would check out the interview with I did with Zach Moore on Exercise and Osteochondritis. I know this will help you out.


Funny Stuff

Since I do this injury stuff, I have been getting all kinds of nicknames, here is another one to add to the list:

I am Very Weak in the Push-up?

A question from Quebec:

Harold, I know you have both the Upper Body and Lower Body of Muscle Imbalances Revealed.

I would take the time to work on the scapular stabilizers.  You can do this in a plank position – Dr. Jeff Cubos talks about above or you can do this in an open chain fashion with exercises targeting the middle fibers of trapezius, lower fibers of trapezius and serratus anterior as I go through in the Scapular Stabilization Exercise Program.

I would also check out Tony Gentilcore’s Component #1 – Corrective Exercise Strategies for Athletes (and Meatheads, too) with Tony Gentilcore that is in MIRU.  He goes through some great exercises that you can do to help with upper body strength exercises.

My Shoulder Cracked?

A question from Brazil:

Sergio, I want to help you out but there is not enough to go on. My advice would be to get it looked at.  Get an accurate diagnosis, clearance to start an exercise program and written guidelines on what you can and can’t do.  Then we can go from there. My big advice: take the time to rehab your shoulder or you will get injured again.

Nice Stuff on Facebook

I am so glad to help fitness professionals and people with injuries.  Very motivating to get comments like this:

Kind Words

More amazing words for the Scapular Stabilization Exercise Program:

“I would describe the Scapular Stabilization Exercise program as very comprehensive, foundational and exceptionally accessible for clients, with a wonderful explanation for the “why” behind all exercises / approaches.

Exceptionally well laid out, with a great background review of the scapular, shoulder movement, and involved muscles to provide a holistic approach.

The exercises are very well described, LOVE the “errors” section to assist with improving accuracy of each exercise. Love the handouts and the E-book. Overall, the best thing is the ease of lay out/presentation of material, so all is easy to understand and implement immediately.”

Catherine Holden

Baltimore, MD

Occupational Therapist, Registered, Licensed

Nice that People Like EFI

 Ahhh, thanks:

Shoulder Injury Guide

Little feedback on the free shoulder injury guide that I give away at EFI:

“I think the gifts are wonderful.

I’m looking to take my knowledge in this direction (corrective exercise).

Where I am in Atlanta, (Roswell GA) there are a lot of tennis moms with the issues, back issues, plantar fasciitis and shoulder pain.

I want to be the go-to guy in this region”.

Thank you in advance,

Andre Coman

Roswell, GA

Personal Trainer

Effective Rotator Cuff Exercises

Feedback on the program:

“I currently work with clients who have past or present shoulder injuries due to overuse or athletically related. Because of Effective Rotator Cuff Exercises, I have a more in depth knowledge of the functions of the rotator cuff and it’s vulnerability to injury.”

Brian Bobo

That is it.

Have a great weekend.

Rick Kaselj, MS


Corrective Exercise for Performance


Filed Under (Corrective Exercise, Fitness) by Rick Kaselj on 29-02-2012

Another post for you on corrective exercise for performance.

It is post that I lost but I am glad that Nick reminded me about it.

Now, Nick has been on EFI before.

You can take a look at his other posts:

Here we go with part 3 of Nick’s articles.

8 Things I Learned About Corrective Exercise for Performance

I could probably write a book talking about everything I’ve done with this experience but I think this gives you a pretty good idea of what went down. Here are some main points that you should take home from my experience that can hopefully help you whether you are a lifter or any kind of athlete.

#1 – Don’t be Afraid to Take it Easy Once in Awhile

I knew the importance of this and did deload from time to time, just not as much as I probably should have. Plan deload weeks and take it easy if you are feeling off. It’s OK.

However, you do need to be training hard enough to earn this. Many people don’t train anywhere near hard enough to warrant this.

#2 Find Someone Who Can Analyze You and Find Your Muscle Imbalances that Need to be Taken Care of

Everybody has something and anybody who trains hard is going to have bumps in the road and aches and pains here and there.

If you don’t, then you aren’t training hard, plain and simple.

But find out what could use some work and do something about it. You will thank yourself later and will avoid injury setbacks and probably hit some surprising PR’s.

#3 – Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Soft Tissue Work

Massage therapy, ART, chiropractic, self massage tools and the list can go on. Tissue work can speed healing, address muscle imbalances (when combined with the appropriate exercises and movement) and help keep your body healthier and functioning better like you wouldn’t believe.

It is so important that I actually went to massage therapy school so that I can better help clients.

A couple of things on this, though: make sure you know why you are working something and make sure you know how it affects you muscularly and neurologically.

“Rolling” blindly can do more harm than good. (I should have some work coming out about this in more detail soon)

Also, if you get work done by a professional, make sure that they know their stuff and at least have a decent understanding of what it is that you do.

With an injury to a muscle, other muscles around the area are going to need treatment as well since they will develop trigger points and adhesions as a compensation effect. If it doesn’t seem that you are getting back to 100%, perhaps synergists or antagonists need some release, whether it’s adhesions, trigger points or neurological related stiffness. In my case, my deep rotators, TFL, psoas transversospinalis, erectors, lats and teres major all needed work to truly get things better.

On top of this, the fascia in the area will most likely need to be released in order to restore normal movement. It needs to glide nicely in all directions. If it doesn’t, movement and muscles will not be optimal and healing will not be fully sufficient.

Keep in mind that once you break up scar tissue, it needs to be realigned through proper movement or you’ll be right back to square one. I also want to add that if you don’t have an S tool such as a thera cane or the kind I have, the body back buddy, you should get one. With my S tool, I can hook right into any specific spot along my back that I need to. I was able to get deep into QL and the surrounding musculature to break up lodged adhesions and trigger points. It’s amazing. Lacrosse balls also work wonders when it comes to getting deep into the hip. Without self massage tools, I can’t imagine how hard it would have been to fully heal the injured tissue.

#4 – Address Your Weak Points and Find Someone Who Can Help You Figure Them Out if You Aren’t Sure

I have been a huge fan of Louie Simmons’ work for quite some time and one main point that he always makes is that bringing up weak points is probably the most important thing one can do to raise their big lifts.

You can squat all day but if you have a weak muscle holding you back and you don’t take care of it, you will not progress like you want. I think that for a decent amount of time, I did not focus on what were truly my weak points. External obliques, glute max, glute med and lower traps all were holding me back. Since I was forced to deviate from my usual style of training, I’ve been able to make these all strong points through different methods and exercises. The results: my squat and pull have never felt better and I feel more stable than ever with my presses because of the lower trap and scap work.

#5 – Don’t Try to do Everything on Your Own

There was a period of time after finishing my time at Ifast and leaving La Crosse that I didn’t have anybody knowledgeable around me to keep an eye on my movement.

Once I found some knowledgeable people in Milwaukee (where I’m at now), things suddenly got a lot better. Surprise!

Even the very best lifters on the planet need training partners and coaches to help them get better. Don’t try to be a hero all on your own. It’s impossible to fully analyze yourself. Get some help from somebody knowledgeable and you will go much farther. If you do have an injury, find a new way to train hard and get better.

For me, I set goals on the major single leg lifts with the sled, with my special exercises, with conditioning and even with technique. With most injuries, there will usually be a way to still train hard without aggravating the problem at hand. Set some new and exciting goals and work on your weak areas so that when you are ready to go again, you will be even better.

#6 Do Everything You Can to Educate Yourself on Movement and Anatomy

McGill, Sahrmann, Kendall, Myers, Chaitow, Robertson, Hartman, Cressey, Kaselj and the list goes on; I’m always constantly trying to learn more. I always do so that I can better help clients; with my situation, I wanted to learn everything I could to make myself better and prevent future occurrences. There are a lot of very smart professionals out there putting out priceless information and you can always find something that can help you with your issues. I think a lot of people with injuries and pain tend to rely too much on doctors, specialists, etc. and passive treatments/temporary pain reducers.

Ultimately, you need to take initiative for yourself in order to truly fix issues and get better. If you are a professional in a related field, books and DVDs, etc. from people like those listed above can be great. If you are not, find a professional who can turn you in the right direction.

#7 – Have patience

This is probably one of the biggest issues for me. Injuries take time to heal, imbalances take time to fix and strength takes time to build. Let things heal and take an ample amount of time to make problem areas better and you will ultimately come back stronger than ever. At first, I wanted to go hard again overnight. I had to learn to step back and realize that it was going to be a longer process to get the healing and the training that I needed to come back healthy and stronger with. Be patient, work at things that will help you get stronger and promote healing and you will come back better. You have to invest both mentally and physically in the process.

#8 – Injuries Don’t Always Need to be a Total Setback

They really can be a blessing in disguise and just might help you get over a hump. Hopefully, my experience can give you some kind of information or some kind of push to help you with your own experience and get you on the path to new PR’s and better performances!!

Remember, train hard but also train smart!!

About the Author

Nick Rosencutter is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is also a Nationally Certified and Licensed Massage Therapist. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science with a Fitness emphasis and Strength and Conditioning Concentration from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, and received his diploma in Massage Therapy from Lakeside School of Massage Therapy in Milwaukee. He has worked with all varieties of clients ranging from fat loss to various levels of athletes and is also a competitive powerlifter. He currently trains clients at Southridge Athletic Club in Milwaukee and offers corrective exercise and movement training at Miller Sports and Wellness Chiropractic in West Allis. You can learn more at his website www.rosencutterultrafitness.com

Rick Kaselj, MS