Overview of Functional and Corrective Exercises

Functional exercises, as the name suggests, are required to improve your body’s overall function in everyday tasks, or more specifically, occupational duties such as sports and physically demanding activities. The focus of these exercises is to improve muscular endurance by involving customized routines targeting muscles and joints. Functional exercises are known to enhance your overall strength, posture, coordination and agility. These are devised to provide your body with an efficient work out session that is effective and challenging. Thus, the sole purpose of functional exercises is to prepare individuals for real-world activities and boosting performance.

Corrective exercises, on the other hand, are for rehabilitative purposes. These exercises are tailored for individuals with movement disorders due to an injury, illness or surgical procedures. While functional exercises can be generalized for specific age groups, corrective exercises are more focused and personalized for every individual. These exercises aim to restore the lost functional activities by incorporating routines that an individual is expected to perform with full independence. This allows the musculoskeletal system to re-adapt to the movement patterns and ‘reminds’ the nervous system to support the chain of movements involved.

The Best Laid Plans for Functional Exercise

Functional exercises should be designed to give you real-life strength. The following points are the best to follow when it comes to employing the most effective routines.

    • Revitalizing your body for better performance does not necessarily mean lifting weights. The best forms of functional exercises are unsupported. Workout sessions using support are deceptive, ultimately leading to no core balance or stability benefits.
    • Using free weights such as dumbbells may help develop increased range of motion and overall muscle balance in the upper limb.
    • Compound lifts are a good way to start functional exercises. These exercises do not only improve strength but also elicit a better endocrine response, stimulating hormonal balance.

Corrective Exercises- Follow a Pattern

Corrective exercises usually begin with basic movement practices and then gradually advance to regaining normal functions.

    • The major target of any corrective exercise should be improved mobility. Therefore, individually customized corrective exercises should focus on re-establishing the lost functional range of motion. This can be achieved by using range of motion movements, and static, dynamic, isolate and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching.
    • Static stability is a useful corrective exercising technique that aims to keep the affected area static while moving other joints in a precise movement pattern. This activity aims to stress the area that needs correction.
    • Dynamic stability directly involves the affected area, involving it in a range of joints, muscles and movement patterns.
    • A holistic approach in corrective exercises is usually recommended in later stages of training. It includes revising the entire pattern of movement with full range of motion for a particular activity.
  • After improving the movement patterns, the last step is to build strength, power and performance in these activities. This usually includes loading the movement pattern to develop force output gains, quickly and effortlessly.

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