Corrective exercises are designed to fix muscle imbalances in the body so that patients can move easier and more freely and feel better in their daily lives. These exercises are commonly used and recommended by personal trainers, massage therapists, and chiropractors as part of tailored treatment programs. Not only can corrective exercises make usual movements much easier and improve your quality of life, but they can also help to prevent future problems that could occur as a result of muscle imbalances that are left unaddressed.
Most muscle imbalances are caused by poor posture. Poor posture occurs when our spine is in a less than optimal position while we are standing, sitting, and walking. Good posture maintains the natural ‘s’ shaped curves of the spine while keeping the rest straight. Poor posture sees these curves being exaggerated, which places excess strain on areas of the spine – in particular the upper back and lumbar. Muscle imbalances can also be caused by other things including repetitive strain injuries, poor sleeping position and more.
There are four steps to corrective exercise, and all are equally important. However, before you get started you should establish which muscles you need to work on during each step. A chiropractor is ideal to help you do this, and they will start by carrying out a comprehensive assessment to see what your posture looks like during certain movements and exercises. For example, if you do a squat and your feet naturally turn outwards, the muscles on the outside of your legs are probably overactive and pulling your feet out too much. This issue can be corrected using the right exercises.
This step is designed to release knots of tension in tight muscles. The technique usually involves a handheld device like a roller or ball and working it over the knot to eliminate pressure.
Next, you need to stretch out the muscles you’ve just worked on. Your chiropractor will be able to show you the most effective way to stretch, with each position being held for at least 30 seconds.
Having identified the muscles that aren’t working as effectively, you can now begin on activating and strengthening them. This can only be achieved once tight muscles have been loosened so that they are no longer restrictive. Activating your weaker muscles will involve a set of targeted exercises, and you’ll need to perform 10-15 reps of each exercise.
This involves performing integrated dynamic movements which aim to get all of the muscles in the body working properly in unison. Slow, steady exercises with controlled movements are necessary to achieve this.
A chiropractor has the knowledge and experience to be able to identify muscle imbalances simply by looking at your body and how you perform certain movements. A straightforward, non-invasive assessment could flag up issues that you may be unaware of, but that could compromise your freedom of movement in the future.
To learn more about corrective exercises, or if you feel like you could benefit from corrective exercises, contact our Waterbury Chiropractic Wellness in Longmont, Colorado at (303) 485-7117 to schedule an appointment.