The Importance of Balance in Corrective Exercises

Sunday was the first day of working with my daughter on corrective exercises. She has been dealing with tendinitis and Osgood-Schlatter disease in her knee. That sounds really ominous but it is not a real disease. It is however a condition that needs to be addressed. She had aggravated it while playing soccer just before Christmas. We had already been training earlier in the year together on strength training with both bodyweight and with weights as well as work at the track. Now though is a chance to back off of that. After meeting with a specialist  it was determined it is time for some corrective exercises as we work to regain the strength she needs for soccer and ballet.

As with my clients my daughter was wondering why when we trained we limited the repetitions performed on the stronger non-affected side. When training incorporating corrective exercises I believe it is important to allow the affected side to dictate the reps to be done on the uninjured side. The reason for that is because we do not want to create muscle imbalances by creating further disparity in strength between, in this case her legs by allowing one side to perform its usual volume.

I will provide an example here in the video. Here she is doing single leg  step-up-and-over from a low box with a focus on the eccentric portion of the movement. I had her begin by using her injured side and had her do the repetitions until her knee and leg got tired. In this case she completed six repetitions. She followed that up by doing only six repetitions on her stronger leg, again maintaining a balance in our corrective exercise training. We kept this up over each successive set of this exercise and also followed this same pattern for each of the unilateral (single side) exercises we did.

It will be important to continue in this fashion until there is a similarity in the amount of repetitions performed between both sides. This is just one factor in programming for corrective exercises but an important one and becomes even more important the closer she gets and someone else would get to returning to training and a normal activity level. In training balance is an important factor especially in the presence of injury.