So, I’m on this corrective exercise kick because I recently got my NASM CES certification. The education brought up some good points though. Aside from the process used to guide clients towards more correct movements, there were some key identifiers that we as personal trainers, coaches, and athletes do not always address.
For example, you’re doing a workout with squats and you hear feedback to stay on your heels. You try, you really do, but your heels don’t want to stay down. You hear that you need to push out on your knees. You focus on your knees and nothing happens. The inability to correct your technique may not be simply corrected just by identifying poor movement pattern.
How’s that possible? If your heel is off the ground, it’s off the ground. Plain, simple. Wrong. Rather than dictate what is wrong, ask why is it like that? If it were so simple, saying “keep your heels on the ground” should have worked to correct the issue. What happens when you try to keep your heels on the ground? Do you find that your upper body movement changes, you want to fall backwards, or you become instable? The muscles in your calf may be tight. Stretch them out right? Good.
It doesn’t end there though. Make sure that was or was not the sole cause. Why was your muscle tight? Do you have to sit a certain way at work, do you wear shoes with heels? Start to address those issues. Maybe you can’t change what you have to do at work, but you can practice some trigger point therapy with a lacrosse ball and you can take breaks to stretch out and prevent your muscles from becoming too tight.
If simple cues are not fixing your technique problem, start looking at why. If you hear repetitive cues about your technique, look at what’s going on with your mechanics. Ask yourself why you cannot correct your form. It may just be the newness of a technique or it may be something related to your biomechanics. You’ll never find out if you never ask yourself why though.