Corrective Exercise

Clay Fitness offers corrective exercise training programs as a service to clients who would benefit from them.  Corrective exercise consists of methodically determining neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction, crafting a corrective program to address the dysfunctions, and putting that integrated exercise plan into action to improve movement deficiencies and muscular imbalances.  Addressing these issues can help decrease the risk of future injuries, improve posture and progress toward more optimal movement patterns.  Other benefits can include athletic performance improvements and pain reduction. 

Corrective exercise starts with a thorough and systematic assessment of the client through a battery of tests to determine any movement or postural dysfunctions, or muscular imbalances present.  These tests help us determine which muscles are likely underactive and/or long, and which ones are overactive and/or shortened or “tight.” This information guides us in creating a custom, evidence-based exercise plan to address the imbalances and return the client’s muscles to more ideal length-tension relationships.   

The corrective exercise strategy, as devised by NASM, involves four phases, termed the Corrective Exercise Continuum.  Muscles found to be short and overactive need to be inhibited (phase 1) with self-myofascial release (SMR), such as foam rolling, then lengthened (phase 2), through stretching.  After the release and lengthening, the underactive/long muscles need to be woken back up via activation (phase 3) – either isolated strengthening or positional isometrics. That work typically is done in a circuit with integration (phase 4). The muscles that have just been “retrained” to either tone down or activate more are now integrated back into normal movement patterns via integrated dynamic exercises – movements that can involve both upper and lower limbs, and multiple joints and planes of motion.  Just like any good training plan, a corrective exercise plan takes into account our client’s current abilities and utilizes progressive overload – increasing the training stimuli by increasing the load (more reps, more sets, more weight) and/or complexity to stimulate continued adaptations and improvements. 

What Corrective Exercise Is 

  • An evidence-based training system 
  • A systematic process for developing highly individualized progressive training plans 
  • A proactive approach to injury prevention 
  • A performance optimization tool for athletes of all levels 
  • A targeted approach that tones down overactive muscles, increases flexibility only to shortened muscles, increases strength to underactive muscles, and improves neuromuscular control 

What Corrective Exercise is Not 

  • Physical therapy 
  • Rehabilitation 
  • A substitute for medical advice or treatment 
  • A quick fix (typical programs take 8-12 weeks 3 days/week)

If you are interested in taking part in the Corrective Exercise Program contact Amy via e-mail at to set up your assessment. For more information on other programs at Clay, go to our Personal Training page.


Charlottesville, VA 22902
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