Another post for you on corrective exercise for performance.
It is a 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:
- Corrective Exercise to Improve Your Deadlift – Part 1
- Using Corrective Exercise to Overcome an Injury – Part 2
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 from my experience to hopefully help you whether you are a lifter or any athlete.
#1 – Don’t Be Afraid to Take it Easy. Once in Awhile
I knew the importance of this and 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 will 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, avoid injury setbacks, and probably hit some surprising PRs.
#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 vital that I go 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 on something and understand 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 you do.
If it doesn’t seem that you are getting back to 100%, synergists or antagonists need some release, whether adhesions, trigger points, or neurological-related stiffness. Other muscles around the area will also need treatment with an injury to a muscle since they will develop trigger points and adhesions as compensation effects. 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 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 entirely sufficient.
Remember that once you break up scar tissue, it needs to be realigned through proper movement, or you’ll be right back to square one. You should get one if you don’t have a Stool, such as a thera cane or the kind I have, the body back buddy. With my Stool, 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 getting deep into the hip. Without self-massage tools, I can’t imagine how hard it would have been to heal the injured tissue fully.
#4 – Address Your Weak Points and Find Someone Who Can Help You Figure Them Out if You Aren’t Sure
I have been a massive 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 don’t take care of it, you will not progress as you want. I think that I did not focus on what was genuinely my weak point for a decent amount of time. External obliques, glute max, glute med, and lower traps were holding me back. Since I was forced to deviate from my usual training style, 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 after finishing my time at I fast and leaving La Crosse that I didn’t have anybody knowledgeable around me to keep an eye on my movement.
THINGS SUDDENLY GOT A LOT BETTER once I found some knowledgeable people in Milwaukee (where I’m at now). Surprise!
Even the very best lifters 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 analyze yourself thoroughly. Get some help from somebody knowledgeable, and you will go much farther. If you have an injury, find a new way to train hard and get better.
I set goals on the significant 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 this to better help clients; with my situation, I wanted to know everything I could to make myself better and prevent future occurrences. There are a lot of brilliant professionals out there putting out priceless information, and you can always find something that can help you with your issues. Many people with injuries and pain tend to rely too much on doctors, specialists, etc., and passive treatments/temporary pain reducers.
If you are a professional in a related field, books, DVDs, etc., from people like those listed above can be significant. If you are not, find a professional who can turn you in the right direction. Ultimately, it would help if you took the initiative to fix issues and get better truly.
#7 – Have patience
This is probably one of the most significant issues for me. Injuries take time to heal, imbalances take time to fix, and strength takes time to build. Let things heal and bring ample 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 step back and realize that it would be a long process to get the healing and training needed to come back healthy and more vital. Be patient. Work at things that will help you get stronger and promoted and 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 might help you get over a hump. Hopefully, my experience can give you some information or push you to help you with your own experience and get you on the path to new PRs 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. He 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