If you’re dealing with neuromuscular imbalances or struggling with improper movement patterns, these issues can seriously impede your training. Mot only can they negatively affect your ability to train properly, but they can also diminish the overall results of that training.

At Vinna Fitness, we deeply understand the importance of proper biomechanics, exercise form, and training technique — after all, it’s what we teach our clients every day. We also know that not many people understand the distinct differences between two important forms of training: corrective exercise and functional fitness training.

To help you better grasp the difference between these two types of training, as well as the goals associated with each, our personal trainers discuss the details below.

What Is Corrective Exercise?

Corrective exercise draws on a deep understanding of kinesiology, human anatomy, and proper biomechanics to address and correct movement imbalances and compensations. Over time, practicing corrective exercises can help improve your movement quality throughout a range of activities, including your daily workouts and everyday activities.

Corrective exercise techniques are first used to help identify the root cause of improper movement patterns and imbalances that can lead to the development of balance, posture, and coordination issues. Once a personal trainer identifies the root cause of these problems, he or she can develop an individualized protocol to address each issue. 

What Is Functional Fitness Training?

Functional fitness training is designed to train your body to perform both everyday movements and exercise efficiently and safely. This type of training typically mimics common movement patterns that most people perform in everyday life. As a result, FMS training conditions multiple muscle groups to work together efficiently and functionally. This type of training also places a heavy emphasis on developing core stability, since a strong, functional torso is essential for performing virtually any movement safely.

Corrective Exercise vs. Functional Training: How Are They Different?

Though corrective exercise and functional training are often mistaken for one another, they have vastly different goals. Corrective exercise places a heavier emphasis on immediately addressing neuromuscular imbalances and acute issues that contribute to improper movement patterns. With corrective exercise, a personal trainer guides the trainee through a continuum of techniques to address specific issues. The primary steps in the continuum are:

●        Inhibition phase. This phase utilizes inhibition techniques to decrease the activity of overactive tissues in the body and reduce tension. Foam rolling is a common technique used during this phase. 

●        Lengthening phase. This phase targets the same dysfunctional tissues addressed during the inhibition phase. It focuses on stretching and lengthening those tissues to increase range of motion and flexibility.

●        Activation phase. This phase focuses on re-educating underactive tissues to perform properly. It aims to increase activation of the target tissues through isometrics and isolation exercises.

●        Integration phase. The goal of the final phase is to bring about a synergistic functioning of the neuromuscular system through dynamic and progressive functional movements.

With functional training, on the other hand, a personal trainer guides the trainee through movement patterns that are common in everyday life. Since the outcome of functional training depends heavily on proper neuromuscular function, successful FMS training often relies on the client’s mastery of corrective exercise techniques.

Rather than incorporating stretching, isometrics, and isolation exercises, FMS training focuses on compound movements, which activate multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Since those muscle groups must work together properly to perform the target movement, many trainees must first complete a corrective exercise continuum to successfully perform functional training.

Vinna Fitness: Your Twin Cities Source for Individualized Personal Training

Whether you’re struggling with improper movement patterns or you simply want to improve your physical fitness, our team at Vinna Fitness is here to serve you. We specialize in functional movement screenings, functional training, rehab personal training, and semi-private personal training, and are dedicated to helping our clients achieve their fitness and movement goals.

To learn more about our services or request a free, 2-week trial, feel free to call our St. Louis Park gym at 952-426-3963 or send us a message with your questions, and we’ll be in touch!