What is the difference between basic and corrective exercise? Is one better than the other?

Today I wanted to discuss and compare the differences between basic exercise as a whole and corrective exercise as a focus.

Basic Exercise:

  • What it is:
    • General movements that challenge the muscles and build strength and endurance (depending on the type of exercise and number of repetitions and sets of exercises)
  • Examples:
    • Squats, pushups, crunches, rows, etc. – pretty much any exercise can be counted as “basic”
  • Who it is for:
    • Meant for those with no muscle imbalances, discomfort of movement, or injuries
    • Meant for those not recovering from injury, surgery, and more

Corrective Exercise:

  • What it is:
    • Specific movements meant to target and strengthen specific muscles to correct or prevent imbalances and injury and reset the natural balance of the body and muscle firings
  • Examples:
    • Stability ball wall squats, floor hip bridges, hip bridges on a stability ball, floor cobras, cobras on a stability ball, clam shells with a resistance band, tube walking with a resistance band, squat to row with cables or TRX, and many other exercises that challenge the stabilizing and balancing muscles of the body
  • Who it is for:
    • Those starting an exercise routine who have undergone an assessment of their posture and body movements and have been found to have muscular imbalances to correct prior to moving forward
    • Those with joint discomfort related to muscle imbalances (ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows)
    • Those with muscular discomfort due to posture deterioration (found often with those whom are at desks much of the day or work in a repetitive fashion often)
    • Those with muscular or joint discomfort due to repetitive exercises (e.g., running, repetitive weight training, bicycling, swimming, etc)
    • Those recovering from injury and/or surgery

Two big questions here:

  1. Is one better than the other?
    1. No.
  1. Can one exist without the other?
    1. Effectively? No.

When I begin with a new client, I assess posture and body mechanics and begin with stabilizing, corrective exercises to address any imbalances seen. Then we build in basic exercises from there, always challenging the body in new ways. We return to stabilizing exercises often to keep the body’s foundation strong and secure to avoid imbalances and unnecessary injury.

If you’ve had any discomfort or injuries, I would love to talk with you. I am offering a unique jumpstart program for all clients who decide to get started in the month of May (only one week left!!). Reach out to me for info, and let’s explore if it would be a good fit for you and your goals!



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