Now that you have rolled for five minutes (see here), and done ten minutes of mobility work (see here), you are well into your workout and have yet to do any “exercises!” It’s time to start working your muscles. Corrective exercises are best done now, while you’re fresh and sufficiently loosened up.
Corrective exercises are meant to do exactly what you would guess, namely to “correct” any structural imbalances which lead to vulnerable muscle groups. These types of exercises have also been termed “prehab,” with the idea that if you do them, you avoid injury, pain, and the need for “rehab.” Why would imbalance lead to injury? I’m glad you asked.
As I mentioned in the previous post, we all (and by “we” I mean those of us with CF) tend to develop a somewhat kyphotic (hunched forward) upper back, and usually the end result of this is an overarched, or “lordotic,” lower spine. This lordosis combined with hours and hours of sitting lead to tight hip flexors (the muscles that work to hinge your hips forward—think bringing your thighs to your belly-button). Tight hip flexors tend to go along with weak gluteal muscles. This stick figure here shows the problem. Tight low back and hip flexor muscles along with weak abdominals and gluteals. The picture of imbalance. This is a set up for low back pain.
These are the areas that I focus on in my “prehab” work. I do exercises to strengthen my gluteals and abdominal muscles, and work to stretch and strengthen my hip flexor group and low back extensors. In the YouTube video below, I go through a few of my favorite “glute” activators, and some good abdominal exercises using a stability ball. Try these, and let me know what you think.
In the next post, I’ll talk about some corrective exercises for that pesky hunchback.