This is another specialization and learning path which a fitness coach needs to adopt sometime in their lives. Not just for credentials, but learning about corrective exercises and muscle imbalances, literally provides a coach with a different level of expertise.
We all have heard of corrective exercise coach or courses with corrective exercise expertise, but not many people really have an idea about what it all means.
If you are a personal trainer or wanting to enter the field, you must have observed people approaching you with different types of nagging bodily pains and aches, or pains related to injuries like knee injury, rotator cuff injuries, back issues, postural problems etc. This is where the expertise and knowledge of corrective exercises comes into play.
Corrective exercise combines the scientific principles of human physiology, physics, and biomechanics to address an individual’s specific physical and biochemical needs.
Corrective exercise is meant to remedy the cumulative results of stresses placed on the body, helping to restore and maintain posture, balance, mobility, and stability, which allows the body to move freely and without pain.Corrective exercise addresses joint inflexibility, muscle instability, and poor body mechanics, which makes it an ideal form of exercise therapy for everyone.
Acc. to NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), “Corrective Exercise is a technique that leverages an understanding of anatomy, kinesiology, and biomechanics to address and fix movement compensations and imbalances to improve the overall quality of movement during workouts and in everyday life.
Corrective Exercise is used to help assess and determine the root cause of imbalances and faulty movement patterns that lead to issues with posture, balance, and total body coordination, and then develop an exercise routine that addresses the problem.
By addressing a client’s functional movement and the issues impeding it, especially at their feet, knees, and hips, it helps reduce the stress put on their body. By properly aligning the body, corrective exercises help it to handle the load that everyday movement puts on it and helps reduce the risk of future injury.
Thanks to these strategies, clients will be able to move better, which will open up a variety of new exercises they will be able to do. It will also give them the ability to take part in a plethora of different activities and sports that they enjoy and may not have been able to do otherwise.
Movement is a reality of everyday life regardless of if you work in an office building or are a professional athlete. Corrective Exercise is imperative in identifying and addressing imbalances that cause posture, stability, and mobility issues. Having a rich understanding of Corrective Exercise allows fitness professionals to identify problems and potential limitations in a client’s movements.
Professionals with knowledge of corrective exercise can effectively assess their clients and develop personalized solutions to improve the way their clients move, feel, recover from a workout, and help reduce chances of injury.”
Acc. to ISSA (International Sports Science Association), “Corrective exercise is a method of training to improve a client’s performance, mobility, muscular endurance, and muscular balance, and to help alleviate pain.
Specialists in corrective exercise have a keen eye for and pay very close attention to movement patterns. They identify dysfunctions and work with the client to correct them. The exercise program typically includes strength training and functional exercise. Form, balance, and posture are emphasized.
This method of training typically falls into the category of sports medicine. But you’re not limited to working in a career in sports medicine.
Corrective exercises can be used to help athletes—endurance runners, cyclists, extreme fitness competitors—and everyday athletes or weekend warriors. Take that list of clients we just mentioned. They’re the ones who really need a certified personal trainer with the knowledge to help them work through and beyond those aches and pains. They need expert guidance to improve their physical fitness.
Oftentimes clients choose just one method of exercise, either strength training or cardiovascular training. Limiting training to one type results in plateaus, overuse injuries, and muscular imbalances. A certified personal trainer knows to create periodized programs that include all aspects of fitness.
Corrective exercise coach , like exercise physiologists, help clients:
- Correct muscular imbalance
- Complete post-rehab injury recovery
- Boost sports performance
- Reduce joint pain
- Improve posture
- Enjoy physical fitness
The daily tasks of a corrective exercise coach includes many of the same things you already do as a certified personal fitness trainer.
- Analyze the client’s current health and past medical history to assess their risk during exercise.
- Perform fitness assessments and analyze the data.
- Identify movement dysfunctions.
- Develop corrective exercise strategies unique to each client to correct movement dysfunctions, reduce pain, and improve performance.
- Monitor performance, cue movement patterns, encourage, and motivate the client”
CORRECTIVE EXERCISE COACH VS PHYSIO/PHYSICAL THERAPIST
Before we understand what are the good certifications and courses you can do to gain credentials and knowledge in corrective exercise, we need to know one thing very clearly, that being a corrective exercise coach or trainer, you have certain strong limitations which you need to keep in mind always. That is the line between medical professionals and fitness professionals, irrespective of the expertise, credentials and qualification a fitness professional has.
Writer Justin Price, creator of the BioMechanics Method, “both physical therapists and corrective exercise specialists help clients alleviate muscle/joint pain and improve their movement capabilities. However, the manner in which these professionals enter a client’s health and fitness journey is very different, and the procedures employed when working with clients are often dissimilar. Physical therapists are licensed health care professionals whose services are typically used by clients to treat a medical diagnosis, physical trauma, or specific injury (e.g., Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff tear, post-surgery rehabilitation, etc.). Physical therapy is also prescribed as an alternative means to orthopaedic surgery, with therapists teaching patients how to prevent or manage their medical condition(s), often lessening the need for prescription drugs and painkillers.”
Price further states that, “the job of a corrective exercise coach is quite different. These types of professionals do not (and should never) diagnose and/or treat a medical condition. Instead, their specialty skills consist of assessing and evaluating a client’s musculoskeletal system for soft tissue and movement restrictions, imbalances, habitual patterns, and muscle dysfunction that may affect that person’s ability to move well, exercise effectively and/or perform daily activities. This specialized knowledge regarding the musculoskeletal system helps corrective exercise specialists design and implement corrective exercise programs to assist clients in beginning, resuming and/or continuing a fitness program without experiencing muscle and joint pain or movement limitations. When a client’s musculoskeletal issues are not able to be addressed solely with appropriate exercises, or fall beyond a corrective exercise specialist trainer’s scope of practice, the client is referred out to medical experts for treatment.”
So, what’s the crux. Don’t cross the line. Something I have been telling throughout my life on my channel, books, articles and every other place. Doctors come first in case of an injury or medical issue. Then comes everyone else. The problem is with trainers, who start thinking that they are equally equipped as physiotherapist or an orthopaedic doctor, just by doing a couple of certifications or workshops. A trainer is not qualified to treat an injury or painful condition, or to lay hands on a client with the intent of manipulating joints or tissues. He/she may be having good intentions towards the client, but intentions don’t matter when it comes to legality. It’s a legal limitation, we need to be aware about.
Keeping all the above aspects in mind and taking the Indian scenario, I have three specializations which you can choose from to become a corrective exercise coach in India:
- NASM CES (NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SPORTS MEDICINE – CORRECTIVE EXERCISE SPECIALIST)
- THE BIOMECHANICS METHOD CORRECTIVE EXERCISE SPECIALIST (TBMM-CES)
- ISSA CES (INTERNATIONAL SPORTS SCIENCE ASSOCIATION – CORRECTIVE EXERCISE SPECIALIST)
NASM CES (NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SPORTS MEDICINE – CORRECTIVE EXERCISE SPECIALIST)
NASM CES is one of the oldest and most renowned corrective exercise certification in the market. In fact, the term ‘corrective exercise specialist’ may have actually come from NASM CES.
The NASM CES works on a concept they call as “corrective exercise continuum.” Acc. to NASM “Corrective Exercises are all about helping people move and feel better whether it’s while working out or just living their everyday life. The Corrective Exercise Continuum is a simple yet highly effective four-step process fitness professionals can use with their clients and athletes to improve, and ultimately, correct common movement compensations. This Continuum works in 4 phases: INHIBIT, LENGTHEN, ACTIAVTE & INTEGRATE.
To know the exact price of NASM CES, please refer to the website: https://www.nasm.org.
To do the NASM CES certification, it is recommended that candidates have at least one of the following credentials:
- NASM CPT certification
- NCCA, NBFE or DETC Accredited Health/Fitness Certification
- A 4-Year College Degree
NASM CES provides you with a single detailed book, along with lots of supportive material and videos.
After the completion of the course, you will take an online final exam from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you prefer to take tests, that consists of 100 questions. Each question will be multiple-choice. The exam is timed and cannot exceed 90 minutes. To pass, you need a score of 70% or higher. If you score below that, you have up to 3 attempts to pass.
THE BIOMECHANICS METHOD CORRECTIVE EXERCISE SPECIALIST (TBMM-CES)
One of the most extensive corrective exercise courses online. A lot of institutes including have collaborated with The Biomechanics Method to offer their own corrective exercise specialization. The BioMechanics Method courses are endorsed and approved by major health and fitness organizations including the American Council on Exercise, IDEA Health and Fitness Association, BOC, VA Board of Physical Therapy, National Exercise Trainers Association, National Pilates Certification Program, PTontheNet, PTAGlobal, REPs UAE, Fitness Australia and are also eligible for continuing education credits from ACSM, IFPA, NESTA, NFPT, WITS, YMCA, CSEP, REPs NZ and NASM.
Acc. to their official website (https://www.thebiomechanicsmethod.com), “The BioMechanics Method is a corrective exercise process used by health and fitness professionals to alleviate back pain and other chronic muscle and joint pain. This revolutionary approach to pain relief combines structural assessments, functional anatomy information, corrective exercise techniques and life coaching strategies into a simple system that makes it easy to help clients feel and function better. The BioMechanics Method is taught via the TBMM-CES course – the world’s highest rated corrective exercise specialty credential.
The step-by-step nature of The BioMechanics Method courses ensures that professionals trained and qualified in these techniques understand the causes of common musculoskeletal and movement imbalances. They can also design effective corrective exercise programs that swiftly alleviate issues caused by imbalances, improve movement/exercise capabilities and enhance physical performance.
The BioMechanics Method Corrective Exercise Specialist course is a comprehensive, step-by-step course that consists of five distinct, but interconnected educational modules. Online lessons featuring written information, 10+ hours of video instruction and demonstrations, client assessment forms, self-check activities, skill checks, and online tests ensure you will be able to readily apply the skills you have learned upon completion of the course.
The 5 modules are:
- The fundamentals of structural assessment
- Understanding muscles and movement
- The fundamentals of corrective exercise
- Corrective exercise program design
- The complete corrective exercise library
Please check the official website of The BioMechanics Method, to know the price and other details about the course. With the certification, you will receive the electronic textbook, video lessons, and the exercise library as well as online quizzes to help you prepare for the exam.
ISSA CES (INTERNATIONAL SPORTS SCIENCE ASSOCIATION – CORRECTIVE EXERCISE SPECIALIST)
The ISSA CES is a relatively new certification by ISSA. But nonetheless it has a great content. The course is more or less similar to NASM CES and even The BioMechanics Method, therefore it won’t be right to say that if one is better than the other.
Acc. to ISSA, “The ISSA’s Corrective Exercise Course will help you learn how to identify and correct the most common movement dysfunctions that you are likely to see in a wide range of clients, from the weekend warrior to the serious athlete. Both health care professionals and certified personal trainers can benefit from this distance education course, learning more about how people move incorrectly and how to guide them to correct those dysfunctions.”
It’s a self-study course consisting of a single extensive textbook and other supportive material. One amazing thing this course offers, which none other offers is a fully hosted and professionally designed website that you can point your clients to. This is extremely helpful to market yourself as a corrective exercise professional.
The price other details of ISSA CES can be checked from its official website: https://www.issaonline.com.