Corrective Exercises

Corrective exercises, as the name implies, are drills that are done to help correct muscle imbalances that may be causing postural problems, sub-par performance, or even pain. Along with improving flexibility, the exercises you’re about to see here can be some of your best weapons for helping get your body back on track!

Videos

In this first short video, I’ll guide you through the YTWL exercise- a great way to strengthen the scapular stabilizers for both swimmers and overhead throwing athletes.

In this next clip, you’ll learn how to work your glutes using the mini band. This one’s a must for those of you looking to improve knee stability.

For more ways to improve knee stability, check out this clip on exercises to strengthen the VMO.

This clip features both dying bugs and bird dogs- two great drills that target the all-important core musculature.

Here’s a short clip showing ways to mobilize the thoracic spine.

Check out this link to the Fitness Corner over at Swimnetwork.com where I have over a dozen more videos!

Exercise Descriptions

The exercises featured below may not need as much explanation as the one’s contained in the videos, but they’re every bit as important. Be sure to seek out any drills that address your specific problems areas, and incorporate them into your workouts.

Upper Body

Band Row: (Scapular retraction) Anchor a resistance band to a sturdy object in front of you, like a bannister, or squat rack. Move back until the band has a decent amount of tension when your arms are straight. With your knees slightly bent and torso held upright, begin the pull by pinching your shoulder blades together. From there, continue pulling by drawing your elbows back until the handles are even with your torso. Hold for a second and then slowly eturn to the start position. Shoot for 8-12 reps.

Wall Slide: (Strengthens scapular stabilizers/ dynamically stretches pecs) Stand with your back leaning against a wall and your feet placed about a foot, or two out in front of you. Next, contract your abs and tilt your pelvis so that your entire back is in contact with the wall, from the back of your tailbone. Position your arms up on the wall in a W position as shown. Now, keeping everything in contact with the wall, slowly raise your arms up as high as you can and then bring them back down. Shoot for 6-10 slow reps.

Side Lying External Rotation: (External Rotators) Lie on your side with your shoulders, hips and knees stacked over each other. Place a small rolled up towel between your ribcage and top arm. With a light dumbbell in your hand, pin the towel down and keep your arm bent 90 degrees. Without moving anything else, rotate your forearm up towards the ceiling until it gets as close to perperndicular to the floor as possible. Shoot for 12-15 reps per side.

Reverse Fly: (Scapular retraction and depression) Lie prone over an exercise bench, or Swiss ball, with a pair of ¬†light dumbbells in your hands. Keeping your back flat (i.e. no lifting your chest as you raise the weights), work your arms up in a wide arc by pinching your shoulder blades together, until they’re in line with your torso. At the top of the movement your arms should be slightly bent. Hold for a second, or two and then lower and repeat. Shoot for 8-12 reps.

Scaptions: (Serratus anterior) Get into a push-up position with your shoulders positioned directly above your wrists and your spine help neutral. Keeping your arms straight throughout the movement, begin by pinching your shoulder blades together and then press into the floor and round your upper back- getting them as far apart as possible. Hold for a second and then lower and repeat. Shoot for 8-12 reps.

Lower Body

Supine Bridge: (Hip Extension) Lie on the floor with your knees bent 90 degrees and feet flat. Brace your core tightly and lift your toes, as you press your heels into the ground and lift your hips. At the top, your body should form a ramp from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for a second, or two and then lower and repeat. Shoot for 12-15 reps.

Swiss Ball Leg Curl: (Hip Extension/ Knee Flexion) Lie on the floor with your calves positioned on a Swiss ball. Place your arms out to the sides to assist with balance. Brace your core and begin by lifting your legs up, off the ground until your body forms a ramp, with your legs held straight. Next, keep your hips high as you bend the knees and curl the ball in towards you. Hold for a second, or two and then straighten your legs and repeat. Shoot for 6-10 reps.

Side Lying Abduction: (Hip Abduction) Lie on your side with your shoulders, hips and knees stacked as shown. Brace your core tight, and with your top leg held straight, lift your leg up until it forms about a 45 degree angle to the floor. Hold for a second, or two and then lower and repeat. Be sure that you lead the lift with the side of your foot and not your toes. You can add ankle weights to increase the difficulty level. Shoot for 10-15 reps.

Unilateral Cone Touch: (Hip and knee extensors/ dynamic balance) Position a platic cone (a dumbbell, or water bottle will also work) about a foot or so in front of you. Begin by lifting one leg up off the floor and holding it next to your other leg. With your hands stacked and arms extended out in front of you, squat down by pushing your hips back and descend towards the cone. As you do this, be sure to keep your heel in contact with the floor and your chest held up away from your thighs. You also want to try to avoid allowing the knee to collapse in, or bow outwards. Once you lightly touch the cone, hold for a second, or two and then drive your foot into the floor to stand back up. Shoot for 6-8 per leg.

Core

Planks: (Spinal stabilization) Get into a plank position by balancing on your forearms and the balls of your feet. Keep your body as straight as possible and maintain a neutral spine (i.e. no excessive arch and no rounding your back). Hold for at least 15-20 seconds at first, working your way up to 90-120 seconds as you progress.

Side Planks: (spinal stabilization/ shoulder stabilization) Lay on your side with your shoulders, hips and knees stacked and your bottom arm bent 90 degrees. Begin by bracing your core and then pushing your bottom forearm into the ground as you lift everything but your feet off the floor. Hold for a second, or two- aiming to increase the hold for up to 8-10 seconds per rep as you progress. Lower and repeat. Try 6-10 reps per side.