Some Q’s regarding some FMS corrective exercise thought process.

1. In a recent thread on the strength coach FMS forum, several forum members suggested performing a four exercise movement prep circuit involving a mobility drill followed by static and dynamic stability exercises and an integration drill. Do you feel this would be an effective means of dispensing corrective exercise in a group setting or situations with limited time?

I remember this, and it is a very sound approach, but it is probably most suited for really cementing in symmetrical 2’s. Someone with an asymmetry or 1’s are not going to be able to execute the integrated pattern such as overhead press when the weak link is shoulder mobility.
When someone has a more focal mobility issue, that algorithm should shift to the left. Perhaps 2-3 mobility drills followed by a static stability drill. Come back next time and get some more mobility and lock it in with some stability. Over time when you see the mobility sticking with the movement, you shift back towards the right. It’s progression of the same strong circuit. I don’t recall the exact context of the development of that circuit, but definitely be wary of a full integrated pattern with someone that is really limited. That circuit plan is for everyone. It’s immediate implementation may not be.

2. I realize each client presents varying needs for both mobility and stability, but do you have a standard template for administering correct work with clients which allows you to work within these confines?

I do not have a standard template in terms of exercise. I think over blocks of time, I fall into certain corrections that I tend to use more than others. Then I find someone when things aren’t working well with, and I look some things up or read something new, apply those, and maybe fall into them for a while.
From a principle standpoint, it’s always mobility before stability, and you can think of exercise in the following terms: unloaded, unloaded with core activation, loaded, and loaded with core activation. An example of this for ASLR to Hurdle Step would be Leg Lowering 2 (unloaded), Leg Lowering 1 with band (unloaded with core), Step-Up (loaded), and Step-Up with valgus RNT (loaded with core).

3. Another question I had was how you organize you’re corrective exercise library. How do you generally categorize corrective exercises and go-to exercises for each FMS or unique issue encountered with clients?

Perhaps the end of the previous answer adds to these other things I can suggest.
I would first start with the weakest link.
My understanding of the most contemporary paradigm is to determine the weakest link via 1-3, 1-2, 2-3, 1-1. When all else is equal, the order is SM/ASLR, RS, TSPU, HS, ILL, DS. The Big 3 don’t follow the developmental pattern as Baby squats before stepping, but very often the DS is 2 when the Little 4 are 2s, so the thought is often overrated.
In categorizing exercises, there are some buckets you can use.
Isolation – Integration – Functional
Isolation is a passive mobility drills like a soft tissue release or passive PNF stretch.
Integration is a stability drill that “integrates” the new mobility of the segment with the core.
Functional Movement is integrating the new mobility of the segment (upper body) with the full body.
Example – Half prone manual hip flexor stretch – TableTop Stride – KB Overhead Split Squat

Mobility – Static Stability – Dynamic Stability
Mobility is an effort to drive a joint to a larger capable excursion. It can consist of many different techniques, both active and passive, loaded and unloaded.
Static Stability loads the segment in an effort to establish a static control over a pattern. There is minimal to no motion in the segment in question.
Dynamic Stability loads the segment in an effort to establish a dynamic control over a pattern. There is moderate to extensive motion in the segment in question.
I’m sure there are more formal alternate definitions in Movement.

4. In terms of home exercise programs, how are these generally prescribed to your clients?

I am not big on Home Exercise. I think it is mainly employed by lousy physical therapists that provide home exercise because 1) they think they are supposed to, and 2) it make the patient/client feel like they are “getting” something in terms of a printout of exercises or a 4 cent rubber band. The literature that says people do better with an HEP than those that don’t is not useful to me. I mean if the HEP is the difference maker, what does that say about what you do as a teacher and a coach during the training session?

I basically don’t trust people to be able to perform a litany of “exercises” when their pain or dysfunction basically just proved to me that they could not do “exercises” correctly and/or safely.

So I may pick 1 or 2 things that the person could demonstrate perfect form during the 1st session and ask them to hammer it. No set or reps. Just do it a billion times. And no pictures, no papers. I will only provide an exercise that I know the person needs minimal to no feedback to execute efficiently. And if that catalog doesn’t have anything in it yet, they get nothing. I would rather them focus on the most important home program that I can think of — Stop doing whatever is causing the problem.

I often tell people by the time you are in the right place to really duplicate things on your own, you’ll already know this stuff like the back of your hand. Less is more.

  • November 24, 2010

Leave a Reply 4 comments

Nate Brookreson Reply

Thanks Charlie, great info!

Chris K Reply

Indeed, great info!

Matt Smith Reply

very interesting Charlie thanks for sharing Reply

The other side of the coin is that we want pts to work “at the edge of their capability”. If something like the hip flexors are restricted & they can control form during an active release like a reverse lunge I feel it is essential to give them that hardest, most functional thing they can do well to re-groove the pattern on their “weak link”.

Another example is by using the Clinical Audit Process I find their sciatica is diminshed by doing a sciatic slider or extension exercise. Then, this is something I will Rx for them to do a few times/day.

Finally, let’s say their balance is poor. They can only stand 5 s EC on their worst side & 10 s EO on their worst side. I’m probably sending them home w/ 1 leg stance balance a # of reps EO & EC up til their limit assuming good posture. Bottom line I want to train a “weak link”. But, only if I can demonstrate via audit that doing so is converting a 0 to a 3 or a 2 to a 3.

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