Corrective Exercise Doesn’t Work

I’ve heard the grumblings for years.

Corrective exercise is a myth.

It won’t work with high-level athletes.

Basically, you name it, and I’ve heard it.

Strangely enough, most of the people that had issues with this sort of training did very little “training” themselves. They might be able to cite some research or write a witty blog post, but they had minimal experience working with people in the trenches.

Well I’m here to tell you today, this is the first of many pieces you’ll see from some of the strongest lifters in the world supporting my methodologies.

Take a few minutes to check out this interview with WORLD RECORD HOLDER AJ Roberts. AJ discusses some of the issues we found in his training, along with how he used this material to help him become the strongest human being in his weight class.

(If you have ADD, you can skip add to the 4 minute mark where AJ starts talking about what we did with him).

Stay strong


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  1. Mike,

    Love the title of the piece, and watching the video just now made me wish more people would come to this realization.
    When I first started foam rolling, mobility drills, single-leg stuff and corrective exercises, I HATED it. But I started noticing something I had not expected: Not only was I feeling and looking better, but I MOVED a lot better, which is something that is tough to appreciate for many of us.
    Now, when I do sprints, my knees fly up and I glide more than thud. For that and numerous other positives, I say thanks to folks like you, Cressey, Boyle, Hartman, Weingroff, Cook, McGill, Reinold and numerous others.


  2. After watching the video, I think what stands out for me was what AJ was saying with about how he let these things fall away because he was making progress.



    • Anthony –

      Not sure what you mean here, but if you’re saying he was making progress without this stuff I would counter with the following arguments:

      Was he making progress? Sure.

      Was it optimal?

      Was he suffering from more pain and/or dysfunction by letting this stuff fall by the way side?

      Was he leaving pounds on the platform by failing to address these issues?

      It’s not about just getting by – it’s about being your best. I think AJ has figured that out, and the proof is in the pudding. 150+ pound PR on an already Elite total speaks for itself.


  3. Great Vid! I loved the line at 9:42 where AJ said, “…it’s kinda like when everything is going great, you forget all the little things and back away….” when speaking about mobility and warming up correctly. So true. I think it takes a lot of mental toughness or preparedness to do those prehab-type exercises and movements, every single time before you hit the weights.

  4. Great Job to both AJ and you for getting his balance. Most think of strength balances as A/P deficits. It is amazing when folks don’t think about the correlation and balance between the hips and shoulders. His hips are tight and weak for his DL and his bench was not improving like it should. I noticed the answers for the shoulder work did not directly isolate the shoulders as most would try to do. It involved the core, hips, and all that connects.

    Keep supplying this type of info as you always do. I really need to get to Indy and see you guys.

    Tim Vagen

  5. I am not one to write comments, but this issue really struck home. I have been in the business of teaching strength in a high school setting for 20+ years and what your are discussing is the base of my program. What really strikes me though is the trainers who use these exercises as a means to end all. There is a progression and an understanding of how all the pieces fit together. Patience and progression are the corner stones of a quality program design. Thank you for the interview and my question to others who train athletes/clients, why do you get away from the basics and only focus on the end? For those who follow a good progression and make adjustments as they see fit, you are on the right track. I do look forward to these exchanges on this site.

  6. Mike,

    Sorry, I expressed myself very poorly. What I meant, is that there is a time lag that can deceive us. Some people might feel they don’t need corrective exercise because they are currently successful. That is not the case, as the video shows. Personally I am a big believer in corrective exercise. Anything that can help people to get into a position where they can train hard, or prevent people from injury, so they can continue to train hard, is gold as far as I am concerned; and I personally give it number one priority.

  7. I just wanted to mention that since I have been using assess and correct warm-ups I have been feeling much better and despite slower progress in some areas than I might like (I have tight hips and an old shoulder injury) the results were noticeable almost immediately. I feel better and move better all the time. My wife tells me that my posture is improved and I look taller and broader. And then the other day I realized that I am no longer Bow-legged. What?! I have been bow-legged for as long as I can remember (knees 3-4 inches apart with my feet together… even if i pushed to get them closer.) Now they are almost touching. Crazy. Plus, I used to get back pain occasionally and haven’t in months.


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