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:
- 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 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