Corrective exercise before you exercise

Published 8:30 pm Wednesday, July 1, 2009

You have most likely heard the term “practice makes perfect,” which is now often phrased a bit differently: “Perfect practice makes perfect.” One of the essential messages is that if you keep doing things over and over the wrong way, you will only reinforce your skill of doing it the wrong way. The same can be said of exercise.

Many people exercise with the understanding that something is better than nothing and so they begin with what they know. The most common forms are walking or jogging or any of a multitude of options at the local health club — or event the latest fad promoted on late-night infomercials.

The problem is that many people are so de-conditioned that they often do more harm than good. I often see people exercising with such bad posture and body mechanics that it hurts me just to watch. If you are on a strength-training machine or cardio machine exercising with bad posture, you are only reinforcing bad posture, which will often lead to injury — and there goes your weight-loss program.

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If you have core, hip or knee instability, you need to get stronger before you run. And I don’t mean that you should substitute the elliptical trainer. If your shoulders are rounded forward you should not do chest-pressing movements.

If you suffer from obesity, joint pain, are sick and tired of being sick and tired or just want to begin feeling better, start by consulting a corrective exercise specialist. A corrective exercise specialist is trained to assess joint stability, flexibility, and strength and to design an exercise program according to your needs.