Five Reasons to Become a Corrective Exercise Specialist

Kyle Stull
Kyle Stull
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Becoming a Corrective Exercise Specialist has many benefits and can help you expand your expertise and increase your income. Here are the top five reasons Certified Personal Trainers should become a Corrective Exercise Specialist.

Benefits of Becoming a Corrective Exercise Specialist

NASM's Corrective Exercise Specialization will:

1. Teach You to Become a Movement Jedi.

Becoming a CES requires you to master the movement assessment. You learn a movement assessment flow or process - the idea behind the process is to have a focused and systematic approach to the assessments.

However, becoming a movement Jedi is more than merely following the required steps. It is learning to recognize small nuances in a movement that may be an indication of an underlying problem. This may be the wiggle of the knee or the extension of toes during the squat. As a CES, you will know how to dig just a little deeper to figure what may be at the root of such compensations.

2. Improve Your Communication with Clients During Exercise.

As a CES, you learn how to guide and cue exercise to ensure you get the most out of your clients. Improving functional movement patterns is the foundation of corrective exercise training. The theory is that if we can correct basic patterns, they will translate to other activities of daily living or performance.

Relearning a movement pattern requires optimal and efficient movement strategies, which requires optimal coaching. You will work on the perfect execution of activation and integration exercises. While improving communication will not happen overnight, with regular practice, you will learn kinesthetic and verbal cues that streamline your movement coaching.

3. Improve Your Communication with Other Allied Health and Medical Professionals.

When you study to become a Corrective Exercise Specialist, you will step up your exercise science game. More specifically, passing the CES exam requires mastery of the planes of motion, the muscle action spectrum, and skeletal and muscular anatomy. Having this knowledge will empower you to feel more comfortable networking with other professionals and becoming an integral part of an overall health management team for your clients.

4. Improve Your Programming Efficiency.

To effectively coach personal training clients, you need to be efficient with program design. It is common for fitness professionals to get caught up in foam rolling too much, stretching too much, and performing exercises that do not precisely align with the client's movement goals.

However, the CES assessment process will teach you how to use modifications and perform mobility tests to know which one or two muscle groups need the most attention to get the most bang for your client's buck. Following the system leads to quick and effective program design, with many corrective programs only lasting 10-15 minutes.

5. Expand Your Ability to Work with More Clients.

Becoming a CES requires you to become a movement Jedi, improve communication with clients and other professionals, and improve your programming efficiency. As a direct consequence, you will become more comfortable working with a variety of clients. Since you have expanded your network, you now know exactly where to refer each client.

Often, fitness professionals feel that referring out will cause them to lose clients. However, the opposite is more than likely the case. When you send a client to a professional that you trust, they are more likely to stick with you long term and refer their friends. Also, other allied health professionals will recognize that you put your clients' health and wellbeing over your immediate profits and will be much more likely to use you as their "go-to" fitness professional.

One Common Myth About Corrective Exercise

Many assume the term “corrective” implies that a client is broken and needs fixing. However, I encourage you to think of this in terms of movement – we are working to improve a movement pattern (i.e., push a movement pattern closer to a standard that we associate with a reduced risk of pain or injury).

The process involves four phases, each with a specific objective that looks a lot like a warm-up. In fact, it is an intelligent and targeted warm-up, individualized for each client. The four phases are:

  • Inhibit
  • Lengthen
  • Activate
  • Integrate

Thus, if someone views the term "corrective" as unfavorable, then change their perception. Call it movement prep, dynamic mobility, or just a simple warm-up.

While becoming a Corrective Exercise Specialist has many other benefits, such as being recognized as a leader in the industry or as someone that focuses on providing the best service to their clients, these five reasons should not go unnoticed. Movement, communication, and programming will be the foundation for building and growing your future Corrective Exercise business.

The Author

Kyle Stull

Kyle Stull

Kyle Stull, DHSc, MS, LMT, NASM-CPT, CES, PES, NASM Master Instructor, is a faculty instructor for NASM. Kyle is also an Adjunct Professor for Concordia University Chicago.


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