Corrective Exercise: A Practical Approach
The concept of using exercise as a therapeutic tool is by no means a new one. As far back as the early nineteenth century, structured exercise was being used for the treatment of sedentary lifestyles, in the form of group gymnastics. By the turn of the twentieth century, the forward-thinking work of Eustace Miles and Eugene Sandow inspired many prominent physiologists and physicians to become interested in the use of exercise as a therapeutic modality. The extensive use of anthropometric measurements at the time introduced evaluation protocol into the exercise arena.
As the mid-twentieth century approached, the growing acceptance of the psychological benefits of exercise led to the introduction of mind-body exercise systems. The work of prominent physical educators, such as Frederick Mathias Alexander, Moshe Feldenkrais, Joseph Pilates and Milton Trager, was instrumental in this development. Largely provoked by their own personal experience of major illness or musculoskeletal impairment, they recognised the intimate relationship between physical fitness and pathology. Fundamental to their approach was an explicit understanding of human movement and how it relates to efficient functioning of the body. These concepts were further supported by the work
of Rudolf Laban and Irmgard Bartenieff. Exercise was becoming recognised as a
therapeutic tool within the context of physical rehabilitation and the foundations for the field of corrective exercise were being laid.
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