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All of the lights, All of the lights!

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I recently became a “Corrective Exercise Specialist” and the course I went through was by far the most difficult I’ve experienced this far. I wanted to explain the Corrective Exercise techniques briefly and how they pertain to various goals. I will go ahead and say majority of my personal training clients will strive to burn fat, build muscle, or increase performance.

The best comparison I can make that makes the most since when explaining these strategies is to relate your body to a home. If we’re talking about weight loss, the nutritional starting point is always calories in vs calories out, which in turn is the same as energy in vs energy out. If you’re at home with every single light in the house on, by the time you get your bill its going to show that the energy you’re using is significantly higher than if you were to have sat around in the dark all day. Common sense, right?

As a Corrective Exercise Specialist, what I do is determine where your muscle imbalances are (most of us have them), pinpoint which muscles are NOT being utilized (lights off, no energy output) as they should and through isolated strengthening and dynamic movements I will turn that muscle on (lights on, use of energy). Ultimately, I want every muscle in your body “turned on” with no compensations. Just like the lights in a house, the more muscles you have working properly the more energy your body will require. The more energy you’re using, the easier it will be to obtain your body fat goals.

Two extra little facts.
1. Muscle requires more energy than fat
2. Muscle has a smaller volume compared to fat. (1lb of muscle takes up less space than 1lb of fat)

As for building muscle and increasing performance. Corrective techniques work in a similar way. For an athlete, once you get all the muscles activated properly (minimal to no imbalances) you will become more explosive, more powerful, quicker reaction times, with improved speed simply because all of your muscles are working together and each muscle is performing what it was designed to do.

The body is amazing and can adapt to a variety of situations. If you’re performing a bench press, the pectoralis major is your primary mover, the all star muscle. Lets assume the pec is not shooting off properly and your triceps and anterior deltoid (assisting muscles) are called on to do the brunt of the work. You will be able to perform this exercise but you are relying on your benchwarmers to produce with your all star (pecs) injured on the bench. This will NOT result in optimal performance.

Hypertrophy, or muscle building is the same story. Bodybuilders are very particular as they try to craft their body to perfection, meticulously addressing each muscle individually. If muscular imbalance is present then you obviously cannot get the most out of each particular muscle.

I personally will perform 3-4 weeks of Corrective Exercise training myself every 3 months or so because I strongly believe it is a must for everyone. We all have our car tuned up, right? Same requirements for the body, regardless of your ultimate goal.

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About the Author:

Taylor Carpenter is a nationally Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Taylor was featured as a fitness expert in the first publication of NASM's "The Fitness Edge".
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