How to get good at your injury rehabilitation exercises

There are 4 principles that make movement rehabilitation from pain and injury successful.  To make the most of your rehabilitation, read on, absorb, do and reap the benefits! 


The right input

At Precision Movement I teach you the right alignment and movement patterns so you can correct your postural and movement imbalances which are likely contributing to your pain and injury.  I try all kinds of cues to find what will work for your brain so you can make sense of what I am teaching you in your own world.  Everyone has a completely different set of cues – so I work hard to find the ones that work for each individual, 



4 stages of learning

I am sure you have heard of The Four Stages of Competence (Noel Burch, 1970).

Unconscious incompetence is that you do not know that you do not know how to do something.  Conscious incompetence is knowing and acknowledging you do not know how to do something.  Conscious competence is the ability to do a skill with a high level of conscious involvement and concentration and information is entered into the short-term memory but is often not retained. Unconscious Competence is when a skill becomes second nature it is easy to perform, is often performed whilst executing another task and information is stored in the long term memory – where it can be recalled at any time.  You go through all four stages of learning in the rehabilitation process.  Stage 3 is the most important where you need to be disciplined to change conscious commands into unconscious movement and postural patterns.  This is why repetition is so important.



The Power of Repetition

It takes 300-350 repetitions to build a motor programme from scratch. To override an existing faulty motor programme that it takes 3000-5000 repetitions  (Schmidt, 1991).  By doing your exercises every day you rack up your repetitions.  A very simple example of this would be a  programme with 4 exercises with 3 sets of 20 reps.  If you do this programme every day for 2 weeks you will theoretically be within the 3000-5000 rep bracket for changing a faulty movement pattern.  It's a bit more complex than this, but this is an example to explain the importance of repetition and it's role in changing your movement and posture patterns.

It is now thought that we are not able to erase motor programmes from the brain.  Instead, we can build new ones and make them the preferred programmes over the ones that no longer serve us.  So consistency and repetition are essential for building preferred programmes for better posture and movement - you must be getting the theme by now!



Deliberate Practice

Deliberate practice (Erikkson, 1993) is not about the total number of practice sessions you do, it is about how you practice.  It requires breaking down a skill and focussing on improving a specific chunk, often with immediate feedback and coaching.  This is what is happening when patients do their exercises with me in the studio and why I choose specific exercises for them to work on the alignment and understanding of a certain part or in a certain range of movement.  Another key component of deliberate practice is continually practising skills at more and more challenging levels with a view to mastering it and I do this by upgrading programmes periodically.

You might be thinking, “Do I really want to become a master of postural alignment and movement?”  I would hope that you do!  Mastering anything takes years, and in Eriksson’s own research his cites one of the contributing factors in mastery is 10,000 hours of practice -although when interviewed now he stresses that is just ONE factor in mastery.


My goal for everyone really is to master postural alignment, joint stability and optimal movement patterns for every day function, firstly to rehabilitate  injury and manage pain conditions and secondly, so that you can just get on and enjoy your life, activities and sports without thinking about it!


If this sounds like something you need in your life right now so you can get back to designing your life, living, moving and being free then please visit my website to find out more about how I can help you.