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Corrective Exercise: Programming for Pain

Fitness professionals are masters of movement, and techniques evolve with the industry.

Here’s how it usually goes when you have a corrective exercise-based personal training practice: you get a new client who hasn’t worked out in a long time and wants to take the fast path to that “beach-ready” or “wedding-ready” body. Expectations are high, and so is motivation … at first. Conversely, you may work with a client who got injured playing their favorite sport 10 years ago and stopped exercising altogether, or the postpartum mom who can’t understand why she can’t seem to move the same way she used to before the baby.  

These clients put their faith in you to help them return to form and function. But there’s a common theme among a high percentage of clients that, more often than not, prevents them from reaching their goal: pain 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, chronic pain is one of the most common reasons adults seek medical care. Population-based estimates of chronic pain among U.S. adults range from 11% to 40%.  

How is this relevant to the 49-year-old former football player who comes to you to help him reconnect with his glory days? After the assessment and you share your corrective exercise/ pre-habilitation plan with him, he loses interest. He wants to push through the pain and reach his goal before his 50th birthday and doesn’t care about fascial restrictions or biomechanical compensations. Consequently, your well-intentioned and research-backed corrective exercise program approach lives to see another day and client while this one limps away.  

Corrective Exercise Strategies Work 

IDEA was there when the corrective exercise career path emerged; in fact, we helped develop it through our educational events and CEC articles. We’re proud to be among the first industry leaders to share the benefits of foam rolling and the importance of foot health to the kinetic chain. We’re proud of our presenters, authors and members for helping us create a community that puts clients’ real needs first.   

Fitness professionals understand that corrective exercise is one strategy to help clients retain vibrant movement health and navigate life pain-free. As people aspire to return to their former levels of functional freedom, IDEA and its members stand ready to help them release restrictions and move with ease.

That is what the “plus” stands for in our reimagined membership—it represents all that you  do to Inspire the World to Fitness®. 

As a member, you have access to vast content and resources, and we’ve featured a small fraction of our library below. If you’re not a member, you can still access this education and get a feel for our community. 



Get Clients Back in the Game With These Resources:

The Top 10 Corrective Exercises

How does corrective exercise programming fit into your business? Clients who are self-motivated to work hard are already star pupils. But what do you do when a client, because of injury, overuse patterns or some other type of dysfunction, can’t quite make it out of the gate? Many people want and need help with reducing pain in addition to meeting functional fitness goals. One goal dovetails into the other.

Corrective Exercise Success Story

For many, watching a baseball game at home is a simple pleasure, but for retired teacher and baseball fan Leta, sitting on her couch for an extended period often meant debilitating backaches. In 2018, she found corrective exercise and functional-aging specialist Damien Joyner, JD. His patience and skillful training turned out to be a brand-new ballgame.

Corrective Exercise for Shoulder Impairments

Movie stars, athletes and brides-to-be work hard to develop shoulders that are aesthetically pleasing, and shoulders are an integral part of the big somatic “picture.” However, there is much more going on in this area than meets the eye. The shoulder complex involves more than one joint, and healthy, functional shoulders are more desirable than ones that merely look good on camera. After all, looking good for the wedding is great, but not being able to carry your luggage on your honeymoon is not.

Pilates Corrective Exercises for Golfers, Part 1

From a biomechanical perspective, the golf swing is a complex and unnatural movement that works the whole body—but not in symmetrical patterning. Addressing physical limitations through a series of Pilates exercises can help create symmetry and coordination, improve muscular endurance and increase range of motion.


Here are four of our member's favorite corrective exercise videos


Interested in learning more about how to grow with the fitness industry as it enters a new era? IDEAfit+ affiliation is the key to life-long success as a fitness and wellness professional.

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