best corrective exercise training program - Tyler Read holds the NASM and ISSA Corrective Exercise Textbooks

This certification roundup article reviews my experience taking the best Corrective Exercise Certifications (CES).

I will detail the pros and cons of these three top corrective exercise programs and give you my takeaway since I have personally taken each certification program.

In this best CES certifications article, I will cover these topics:

  • Topical Information for the NASM, TBMM, and ISSA CES certs.
  • My experience with these three top corrective exercise training programs
  • The quality of these three CES certifications and study materials
  • An overall comparison of the three certifications and my thoughts on who these are best for.

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Let’s dive in and see the best corrective exercise course options.

Best CES Programs Featured Image for PTP

Our Top Picks

CES CertCES CertFeaturesPrice
ISSA Corrective Exercise Specialist

ISSA Corrective Exercise Specialist

  • Great exercise science 
  • Good online resources
  • Includes free exercise website 
Check ISSA Pricing


  • Well known exercise certification
  • Detailed corrective coverage
  • E-book only 
Check NASM Pricing
The Biomechanics Method Corrective Exercise Specialist Certification

The Biomechanics Method Corrective Exercise Specialist Certification

  • Complete biomechanics course 
  • Exercise library 
  • Not a whole lot of study materials 
Check TBMM Pricing

ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) Corrective Exercise Specialist

ISSA corrective exercise certification

What is the ISSA CES?

best corrective exercise certification - ISSA corrective exercise textbook laid on table with question boxes

The ISSA is a popular fitness organization and offers one of the widest varieties of certifications and specializations. It is easily one of the top choices among fitness professionals, alongside the likes of NASM and ACE, to name a few.

The ISSA CES is the ISSA’s Corrective Exercise Specialist Certification, which aims to teach trainers to help clients with injuries and musculoskeletal issues.

ISSA has been around since 1988 and has its fair share of time in the fitness landscape.

In my experience, ISSA-certified trainers are sought after in my gyms and facilities.

I also highly recommend that you take the quiz and find out which certification is best for your career goals.

What type of Certification are you looking to get?

ISSA Credibility and Reputation

ISSA has NCCA accreditation on several certifications, and because of this, they are known to offer quality content in their courses.

NCCA is the gold standard for certification accreditation, and thus, any company with NCCA accreditation in certification is known to offer quality content.

ISSA is also affiliated with many organizations which help to provide high-quality, up-to-date research.

There are ISSA-certified individuals across the globe, and the ISSA brand will give employers an immediate idea of how qualified a professional may be.

In my opinion, the credibility and reputation of ISSA get a 9.5/10.

ISSA CES Pros and Cons

  • Teaches exercise science foundations more so than other CES certs
  • Free personal exercise website included
  • High-value certification with large deals often offered
  • Slightly dated online study portal
  • ISSA lacks a training model similar to ACE IFT and NASM OPT

ISSA CES Study Materials and Costs

The ISSA CES offers one package to choose from, but there are also bigger certification packages that include this CES certification for trainers looking to have multiple certifications.

The CES study course from ISSA costs a base price of $799, which is right around the cost of the other two programs in this article.

Included in each purchase of the ISSA CES will be these materials:

  • Online Course Textbook
  • Online Study Guide and Workbook
  • Online and Home Study Exam
  • Online Exercise Lab
  • Online Student Forum
  • Practice Exams and Section Quizzes
  • Free Professional Website
  • Unlimited Educational Support
  • Bonus Support After Your Exam

The program’s main focus will be the online course textbook.

Tyler Read Showing the ISSA CES Textbook Dashboard page

The ISSA CES textbook is divided into two primary sections: corrective exercise science and practice.

Compared to the other certifications in this article, none of the study programs come as close to the detail of exercise science as ISSA.

Other CES programs more or less assume that their learners have a solid background in exercise science while still offering some of the content. Still, ISSA introduces exercise science and corrective exercise technique together. The chapters found in the ISSA CES textbook are:

  • Unit 1: Skeletal System
  • Unit 2: Muscle and Fascia
  • Unit 3: The Nervous System
  • Unit 4: Joint Actions
  • Unit 5: Movement
  • Unit 6: Preparing for the client
  • Unit 7: Create a Just Right Challenge
  • Unit 8: Perform a Single-Joint Movement Analysis
  • Unit 9: Perform an Upper Body Multi-Joint Analysis
  • Unit 10: Perform a Lower Body Multi-Joint Movement Analysis
  • Unit 11: Restore Structural Alignment and Stability
  • Unit 12: Restore Mobility through Stability
  • Unit 13: Soft Tissue Assessments and Correctives

Each chapter, or unit of the text material, breaks down the primary goals that each learner will go through on the first page.

Tyler showing the ISSA CES Chapter Cover Page

Overall, I find the online textbook layout functional and easy to navigate, but compared to NASM, it seems a bit outdated. It would be nice to see an improvement in future iterations of study materials.

That said, the dated feel of the online materials does not detract from the program’s overall value.

On top of the impressive online course textbook, there is a guided study, quizzes, and downloads for learners to utilize.

Tyler showing the guided study for the ISSA CES

The guided study layout splits the materials into nine weeks, which is what ISSA recommends for the average learner.

All the weeks use chapters in the textbook to read, audio lectures, some small exam prep skills, and quizzes for the learner to cover all the materials.

In addition, I found the guided study to be quite beneficial, as it gives you an easy-to-follow schedule, which some people will like more than others.

The audio lectures are nice, but it would be nice to have more of a direct audio version of the textbook instead of just having someone talk about the chapters and materials.

The downloadable forms are one place where ISSA stands out significantly above the competition. You have unlimited access to a number of downloadable forms on your account, and they will all help kickstart your client analysis needs after you have been certified.

ISSA corrective exercise PARQ form

On top of just having downloads, everything is presented in PDF form and can be easily printed and written in as the learner sees fit.

The ISSA CES program offers unprecedented value and focuses on exercise science foundations that other CES programs do not, creating a balance between teaching tips on corrective exercise, but also basic body biomechanics functions and structures.

It is extremely beneficial for trainers to pursue this cert, especially since it will also help with recertification.

I would give the ISSA CES a 9 out of 10 from me, mostly due to a slightly dated feel to the online course, but a top-certification quantity of knowledge. Upon completion, you should be well prepared to specialize in corrective exercise. 

And when it comes to the cost and value of this great CES program, I would give it a 10 out of 10, the best value within this article.


The final exam for the ISSA CES is an open-book test, allowing test-takers to do some work, exit, and then finish the exam later. This reduces the overall stress of taking it and you can test your abilities in the comfort of your own home. 

Some people work better in different environments, so this is a nice option.

The exam results are returned within 24 hours, and it is not the most challenging fitness exam you will encounter, but you still will want to take your time and ensure you pass.

It is a good idea to be very familiar with your study materials and the locations of vital information within the online textbook to avoid test retakes.

The quizzes must all be completed before being eligible for the final examination. This makes sense as the purpose of the quizzes is to serve as a learning module for the exam. 

I passed the ISSA CES exam on my first try and without using study materials, but I also studied the textbook religiously and kept notecards and more.

The exam process receives an 8 out of 10 from me.

ISSA CES Overall Rating

9.1out of 10

Credibility and Reputation9.5
Study Materials9
Exam Process8

NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Corrective Exercise Specialist

best corrective exercise training - nasm textbook on table with question mark boxes

What is the NASM CES?

The NASM is one of the top choices for exercise science certification and brings excellent knowledge to its students.

This is no different from the NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Specialization.

NASM has been around for over 35 years and offers one of the widest fitness certifications, only matched by ISSA (also has a top CES certification in this article).

NASM has attained NCCA accreditation on their top certifications, which adds to the organization’s reputation as a whole. This brings us to the next point the credibility and reputation of NASM.

NASM Credibility and Reputation

best corrective exercise certifications - NASM CES national academy of sports medicine logo

NASM is at the top of fitness due to its overall respect from employers and the numerous options brought to NASM-certified professionals to specialize in many great realms of fitness.

There are over 1.4 million professionals educated through NASM; thus, a huge network of connections and many partnerships allow NASM trainers to thrive in their businesses in terms of networking. NASM also now owns AFAA, and uses their Group Exercise Certification. 

NASM’s credibility and reputation status and CES certification earn a 10 out of 10 from me.

NASM CES Pros and Cons

  • NASM OPT Model is at the top of the industry
  • Study Materials are constantly updated
  • Most well-known CES certification
  • Expensive for a specialization
  • Lacking behavior change information

NASM CES Study Materials and Costs

The NASM CES offers two packages for learners to purchase. The NASM CES Self-Study course and the NASM CES Premium Self-Study Course.

The NASM CES Self-Study package has a base purchase price of $899, which is a bit higher than the other packages in this article, but for a good reason.

Included within the NASM Self-Study package will be the following:

  • 19 hours of CEU credits
  • NASM CES Digital Course Content
  • Content and Learning Videos
  • Coaching Demonstrations
  • Advanced Video Animations
  • Quizzes
  • Online Practice Exam
  • Online CES Exam

The NASM CES Premium Self-Study package has a base price of $1,199 and includes some new materials on top of the former package to make it worthwhile.

Included in the NASM Premium Self-Study package will be:

  • 19 hours of CEU credits
  • NASM CES Digital Course Content
  • Content and Learning Videos
  • Coaching Demonstrations
  • Advanced Video Animations
  • Quizzes
  • Online Practice Exam
  • Online CES Exam
  • 16 Audio Lectures
  • 6 Webinars
  • Biodigital Models
  • Suggested Study Schedule
  • Exam Study Guide

The real selling feature of this program is the extremely easy-to-navigate CES digital course content, which stands above the other certifications in this article.

Save 30% on the NASM CES (Corrective Exercise Specialist) Certification
See the NASM CES Sale Here
Save $200 on the ISSA Corrective Exercise Certification
See the ISSA CES Sale Here

The digital course content is more or less the new way to present textbook materials in the fitness industry. 

As far as digital content goes, this is perfect, but it’s never a bad idea to have some form of PDF or physical textbook for learners.

The course menu is on the left, allowing easy navigation and a feature to pick up where you left off. There are also convenient percentages which function to specify the sections you have gone through and to what degree you went through them.

Tyler Showing off the NASM Study Portal for the CES Certification

As far as the overall course content, there are a total of 18 Chapters packed full of information, with the second half of the book going into great detail for CES regarding specific joints and areas of the body and anatomy.

The chapters in the digital course include the following:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Corrective Exercise Training
  • Chapter 2: Human Movement Science and Corrective Exercise
  • Chapter 3: Inhibitory Techniques
  • Chapter 4: Lengthening Techniques
  • Chapter 5: Activation Techniques
  • Chapter 6: Integration Techniques
  • Chapter 7: Client Intake and Assessment
  • Chapter 8: Static Assessments
  • Chapter 9: Movement Assessments
  • Chapter 10: Mobility Assessments
  • Chapter 11: Corrective Strategies for the Foot and Ankle
  • Chapter 12: Corrective Strategies for the Knee
  • Chapter 13: Corrective Strategies for the Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip-Complex
  • Chapter 14: Corrective Strategies for the Thoracic Spine and Shoulder
  • Chapter 15: Corrective Strategies for the Wrist and Elbow
  • Chapter 16: Corrective Strategies for the Cervical Spine
  • Chapter 17: Self-Care and Recovery
  • Chapter 18: Real-World Application of Corrective Exercise Strategies

Each chapter begins by setting the stage for what you will learn within each chapter and section. This comes in the form of learning objectives.

Tyler Showing the Chapter description page for NASM CES Chapter 5

NASM’s collection of quizzes, demonstrations, and videos are spread throughout their appropriate chapters on the digital course content and are perfectly located.

NASM video instruction is the best of all the organizations. 

The practice quizzes all come at the end of the chapters in an easy format to find and are completely optional.

The quizzes accurately cover the topics you just went through with each chapter and section.

I found it extremely helpful to recap all the information you just learned, whether that’s corrections for the neck, knees, and hip girdle or the effectiveness of different ankle dysfunction fixes. 

When you are looking at the premium self-study package, you will find all of the additional information included in this package within a separate study module.

Tyler Showing off the NASM CES Premium self-study contents

All in all, this is an excellent offering from NASM, and it does engage the learners very well.

The premium self-study content includes the study guide, audio lectures, and webinars.

For me, I think the most important information here comes in the form of webinars. These webinars cover the most important information throughout the final half of the book, which is on the various joints and their corrective strategies, so you can identify causes and ways to correct problems with case studies.

These videos are around 30 or so minutes per body part, and this really helps drive home the corrective techniques, which will make you a better trainer overall, raising your ability levels as you learn contraindications for movements, communication strategies, and how the body moves and different muscle groups interact. 

Everyone will have different exercise needs and steps to take to improve their physiology, so knowing these tips is key. 
You learn great injury prevention material which will aid beginners and advanced clients in their wellness journey, stopping issues at the root of the problem before they become injuries. 

The NASM CES study materials receive a solid 9.5 out of 10 from me.

And for the cost and value, I would give the NASM CES certification an 8 out of 10 for being the highest cost and not quite having the deals seen with the likes of ISSA. The main limitations with this program is that it’s not a full certification, although it is thorough. 

Next, let’s look at the NASM CES Exam and the details of that part of it.


The NASM CES Exam is similar to most other fitness specializations in its layout.

A passing score on the exam would be a 70%, and the content is broken up into four domains of study from the digital content: Introduction to Corrective Exercise Training, Corrective Exercise Techniques, Assessment, and Programming Strategies.

In total, there are 100 questions, and the exam is done in a multiple-choice format.

Test-takers have 90 minutes to take their exam, and since it requires a 70% on the exam, this means you would need 70 questions answered right.

NASM gives their students three attempts to pass, so if you fail once, study a bit harder and take it again. These guidelines are much less restrictive than their CPT, giving you more flexibility if you fail.

There is also no renewal process, although I would stress the importance of taking some continuing education courses to refresh your expertise and keep current with the world of fitness and current business practices. 

Make sure to also keep your CPR/AED certification current for safety reasons although that is not part of the requirements for these CES certs.

The exam process for the NASM CES receives an 8 out of 10 from me.

NASM CES Overall Rating

8.9out of 10

Credibility and Reputation10
Study Materials9.5
Exam Process8
Best Corrective Exercise Certifications in [year] 3
Best Corrective Exercise Certifications in [year] 4

TBMM (The Biomechanics Method) Corrective Exercise Specialist

TBMM corrective exercise specialist certification logo

What is the TBMM CES?

The Biomechanics Method appeared got its start in fitness not too long ago, back in 2006 and became a prestigious agency approved by many health education organizations.

This wonderful certification company is present in over 75 countries worldwide, helping people of all walks of life overcome musculoskeletal issues.

The Biomechanics Method Corrective Exercise Specialist course is one of the three top choices for fitness professionals and other health professionals to advance in their jobs.

TBMM Credibility and Reputation

One of the main fitness organizations partnering with TBMM is the well-known non-profit company ACE.

ACE advertises the TBMM as one of the best CES certifications you could strive for, and this speaks for itself, given the credential of ACE.

The TBMM has achieved partnerships with all of the most prestigious certifying agencies, like the aforementioned ACE, as well as the NASM, NSCA, ACSM, and ISSA.

Because of this, the TBMM also gets its certification out to people across the globe and even has a presence in colleges and universities.

Like the other two certifications within this article, you can rest assured that the TBMM CES is a respected and beneficial certification for fitness professionals.

The credibility and reputation of The Biomechanics Model receive an 8 out of 10 from me.

TBMM CES Pros and Cons

  • Incredible focus on dealing with chronic pain
  • Lifetime Access to course materials
  • Extensive Exercise Library
  • The organization lacks NCCA Accreditation
  • Inequal CEC credits across organizations

TBMM CES Study Materials and Costs

The TBMM CES course comes with two options for packages to buy. The only difference between one to the other is the inclusion of the physical textbook, which is rare among the CES certifications and most specializations in fitness.

I personally enjoy having a physical textbook when I am studying as it allows me to make notes directly in my book, and I find it easier to follow along when reading physical books.

The main package for the TBMM CES is called the TBMM-CES Course, costing $749.

Advertisement for the TBMM CES Course

And there is the second package, which is everything included in the package above, plus the physical textbook.

This TBMM-CES Course + Physical Textbook package costs $829.

On top of the standard certification options for learners new to corrective exercise, TBMM also has a “Bridging Course” for professionals with a CES or similar certificate but still want to learn The Biomechanics Method models of CES by transitioning other certifications to this one.

This TBMM CES Bridging Course can be bought as a solo course or as a package, including the textbook.

The TBMM CES Bridging Course costs $599 without the textbook, and with the textbook, it will cost $689, which is nearing the standard course already.

The standard TBMM CES course found in all packages will include these materials:

  • Practice Lessons
  • Video Demonstrations
  • Skill Building Activities
  • Unlimited Course Access
  • Untimed Tests

The TBMM CES course is a fully online course, and it splits its materials into five modules:

  1. The Fundamentals of Structural Assessment
  2. Understanding Muscles and Movement
  3. The Fundamentals of Corrective Exercise
  4. The Complete Corrective Exercise Library
  5. Corrective Exercise Program Design

For a newer fitness professional, I believe module 4 is one of the most beneficial video libraries that I have found in the world of corrective exercise. This corrective exercise guide is great.

There are 200 highly descriptive exercises addressing all of the musculoskeletal imbalances and using the fundamental principles for each category of exercise. This is a great variety of ways to learn regressions and progressions, and correct muscle dysfunction so people live without restrictions.

Remember things like weight loss, strength or muscle endurance improvements are only possible if someone is able to move with control and without pain. As a corrective exercise specialist you can fix hip, shoulder, or feet issues so that people can go to the gym and workout safely. 

The TBMM CES study materials receive a solid 9 out of 10 from me, and the cost and value of the certification get a 7 out of 10.

The study materials will prepare you exceptionally well for the TBMM Exam and work as a top-tier Corrective Exercise professional.

The TBMM CES Exam is untimed, and you have unlimited retakes, so it is a much more chill process than other CES certifications, and this could bring down the overall opinion of the CES since it could be a bit too easy to pass.

I would rate the exam process as an 8 out of 10 for the TBMM CES final certification exam.

TBMM CES Overall Rating

8out of 10

Credibility and Reputation8
Study Materials9
Exam Process8

Best Corrective Exercise Certifications Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

best CES course layout - NASM and ISSA course contents. Textbooks open to each table of contents.

What can I do with a corrective exercise certification?

A corrective exercise certification is useful for coaching general fitness clients who have various muscular imbalances and movement impairments associated with modern sedentary living and common injury histories. While you don’t directly help with rehabilitation of injuries, you can gives precautions and discover dysfunctions in clients that may lead to injuries if left untreated. 

What is the difference between corrective exercise ACE and NASM?

NASM is a much better corrective exercise certification than ACE (also known as the TBMM).

Is NASM corrective exercise worth it?

NASM corrective exercise is worth it for most general personal training applications since most clients, no matter their exercise type, will demonstrate some level of movement impairment.

Best Corrective Exercise Certifications Overall Rating

best corrective exercise program - overall rating nasm and issa- textbooks laid on table with stars

In my opinion, ISSA offers the best corrective exercise certification closely followed by the NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist certification. While I do not recommend the ACE-backed Biomechanics Method over ISSA or NASM, its definitely an option to consider.

No matter the exercise category, runners, weight lifters, and athletes of all kind need some form of correctional exercise assistance. If you can assist those needs in your sessions, you will be able to really do some good!

Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read

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39 thoughts on “Best Corrective Exercise Certifications in 2024”

  1. Hi Tyler, as you learned them both. If you had to choose or recommend just only one corrective exercise course, which one you would recommend between NASM and ISSA regarding only the detail or knowledge they provide that can easily understand and apply to the client, not the cost, reputation, or exam. TIA

    • If you are already certified with one of the two and this is a specialization you are adding on, then I would stay with the same organization. If not, I would recommend NASM over ISSA, but they are quite close.

  2. Hi Tyler, what about 3DMAPS and CAFS from Gray Institute? What do you prefer if comparing to NASM CES. I’m a sports medicine specialist resident, and I’m looking for corrective exercise course, because I have client especially athlete post surgery. Thank you

    • Hey Reggie, both of those options are excellent options that are newer to me, but they will end up on my list in the near future. The 3DMAPS is excellent for hands-on experience, and it is the one I hear the most about. In the future iterations of the article, I will make sure to explore The Gray Institute, with a review hopefully soon, as well.

  3. Hi Tyler,

    Thanks for all the great information. I need some clarification on getting a PT certification before CES. Do you recommend a PT cert first, because the knowledge gained will set you up for the CES cert? I am certified yoga teacher of 9 years that also just completed a yoga and physical therapy training. Would that make sense to skip the PT cert and go straight to CES?

    Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

    • Hey Bryan, I’m glad you are enjoying the site. You definitely could go for the CES certification first, but more often than not, it is a specialization to help focus or add to a career in personal training.

  4. Ex dancer, aerial fabric, contortion performer and now coach. I have no certs or anything as I have been trained in circus. With all the injuries I have and see people getting I would like to add corrective exercise into my toolbox. I would also like the letters behind my name as well. What is a good route?

    • Hey, you will find a great amount of information for general training in all three of these programs. If I were you, I would choose the one with the best deal and then dive into learning.

  5. Hi Tyler,
    Do you know if the CES from NASM has an additional text book that I can purchase? It’ll make studying a lot easier.

    • Hey Samantha, yes you can pick up the corrective exercise specialist text book. You might have to contact the National Academy of sports medicine for them to ship it to you. But I do know that they have fun.

  6. Hey Tyler – Love your website. Thanks for all the great info you put out there. I relied on you to get my NASM PT. I’m now debating NASM CES vs. the ACE Biomechanics specialization. I’m worried that the NASM CES will be too much of a review. Their PT program already had a lot on inhibit, lengthen, etc. So I was leaning toward the Biomechanics specialization. Do you think that’s true – that the NASM CES is a bit redundant with their PT certification? A related question would be – how different do you think the material in the Biomechanics specialization is from NASM CES? Or are they pretty similar in terms of what they teach? Thanks a lot!

    • Hey Mike, that’s a very good point. A lot of the corrective exercise specialist certification does have overlap with the general personal training certification because of such a strong focus on corrective exercise from the beginning. If you want to completely change it up I think that the biomechanics specialization would be a good way to do that. But, the corrective exercise specialist from NASM is still super legit and you will learn a lot new things as well. Both are great.

  7. hello Tyler,
    I really liked your description on ISSA and NASM CES programs.
    I’m a holder of a bachelor degree in physical education and i would like to pursue a career in Post rehab conditioning. Knowing that i do not have a Personal Trainer certification my following questions are:
    1- I want to work with both Athletes and Elderly, so which CES program to you recommend? ISSA or NASM?
    2- Which Strength and conditioning specialist Certification do you recommend other than NSCA which has a similar level of recognition ?
    Thank you.

    • I definitely recommend getting a general personal training certification first. After that you can try to specialize with a corrective exercise or a strength and conditioning specialist certification. The best strength and conditioning certification is the CSCS. But also ISSA and NASM offer great programs as well.

  8. Hiii , question I already have an Ace PT Certification , should I go with the Ace or the Nasm.. cost wise? What would be the better choice in my position.

    • Hello Janet,
      if you already have the certification from the American Council on exercise, and you liked their study materials and support, I see no reason why you should change. They both are fantastic certifications.

  9. Hi Tyler,
    I’m a retired professional dancer and now a certified Gyrotonic/Gyrokinesis Trainer….I was thinking of expanding my knowledge for more marketability.
    I would love your opinion on my options….

    Felise Bagley

    • Hey Felise,
      Well it really depends on the types of clients that you want to work with. Since you are reading the article on the best corrective exercise personal training certifications, I’m guessing that you want to work with people that are post rehab or trying to fix muscular imbalances? If that is the case, I recommend the NASM CES as probably the most valuable corrective exercise certification that’s currently available.

  10. Hi,
    I’m a Licensed Massage Therapist. I see so much forward head posture, anterior pelvic tilt, and posterior pelvic tilt just to name a few….
    I would like to become certified in corrective exercise so then I can successfully help my clients with the proper exercises to correct their poor movement patterns. As only a massage therapist I’m not allowed to do that. It is considered beyond my scope of practice. I’m a very Hands-On learning person. NASM? However, I’m very interested in the neurological part of this. So ISSA?
    What so you recommend?

    • Hey Julia,
      if you are wanting to get into corrective exercise such as fixing forward head posture, anterior pelvic tilt etc., I would definitely go with the national Academy of sports medicine. Not only is there general personal training certification much more corrective in nature, but they also have the best corrective exercise certification in their CES in my opinion. ISSA is definitely catching up in this regard, but the focus on the overhead squad assessment and many other corrective assessments with NASM make them the best in this area. I really hope this helped.

  11. Hey Tyler,

    If I hold a certification from ACE is taking a corrective exercise specialist program from another provider such as NASM allowed? Also, is taking a certification on nutrition, performance, fat loss, or the CES after your two years have expired considered continuing your education?


    • Hey Shawn,
      yes, you can definitely change certification organizations to get additional certifications or credentials. Basically all additional certifications are considered continuing education for every other certifying body. For example if you pick up the corrective exercise specialist it will definitely count as continuing education for your general personal training certification with ACE.

  12. Hi,

    In looking at ISSA, and there CES..I noticed they have a Exercise Therapy Specialist as well
    What the main difference? Is one more sought out after in the Health Field? Are they pretty comparable IYHO?

  13. I am looking to become certified, but am not sure of the program of study that would best suit me. I am looking at personal trainer programs or corrective exercise specialist. I understand that with a CPT, I could also include CES? Is it worth only doing a CES program? I am looking to do this as a side job. I LOVE the Beachbody programs and am an avid workout person, but so many of my friends complain about aches and pains from working out and I would love to be able to set something up for them. I was also approached from a colleague who works with adult mentally challenged individuals (I am a Special Education Teacher for middle school kiddo’s) and would love to be able to help all age ranges relieve muscle fatigue and give excercises/stretches to help reduce their discomfort. I would appreciate any guidance you can suggest!

    • Hey Sue,
      If you are not yet certified through a general personal training certification, I would check out the list of the top CPT’s on my website first. After that, I would definitely lick into a corrective exercise program. Out of all of the advanced certifications for personal trainers, I think corrective exercise specialists are the most valuable. You will definitely be able to receive the most amount of clients and be able to help the most amount of people that have aches or that complain about pain. Exercising pain free should be the first step in any exercise program. I hope this helped and you are going to be a great personal trainer!

  14. Hello,
    Would like to ask about Post Rehab Exercise Specialist Certification from AFPA in comparison to NASM CES .. Which one do u recommend and why?

    • AFPA Is a decent certification but overall NASM is the industry leader especially their CES certification. For me it would be between that or the CSCS certification from NSCA, but this requires a college degree in order to obtain it. NASM is not only more recognized but as an organization they have a general corrective exercise focus which is why I would choose it over AFPA.

  15. Hey Tyler, I really love your articles about different certs. It really keeps aspiring trainers on their toes. I actually got certified through ISSA and I love their curriculum and how they lay out their information. I actually have my bachelors in Exercise science and I was wondering do people still judge someone on their certification or whether or not they got a degree? I never had a problem getting a job with my certification from ISSA. I usually just had issues with other trainers who are certified by NASM and NSCA telling my clients that my cert is not good because it is done online. The guys who said that dont have degrees at all. So Im just wondering if you think a certification weights more than 4 year college degree. Thank you!

    • This is a very in-depth topic for sure. Overall, a person with a four year degree has much more knowledge than anybody that has any one of the certifications that I’m talking about. And that is a problem in this industry. It’s difficult to tell who has gone through the hoops. The ISSA certification is a very legitimate certification. Just because the exam is done online, does not take away from this fact. It’s simply that these individuals do not know what they are talking about. Honestly, both of those exams are simply multiple-choice questions that are fairly easy to pass. ISSA requires its testtakers to answer essay questions and even right a sample workout program for a imaginary client. This tests your knowledge much more than multiple-choice ever can. Thus just my two cents

    • Hey Chris,
      The deals with ISSA very on a day-to-day basis practically. You will just have to keep on checking back with them to see what their daily deal is.

  16. I love everything you said, Tyler!
    I’m a Master trainer with NASM and have my CES certification. After becoming a CES, my income and clientele almost immediately increased. I didn’t have to do as much marketing. My clients were doing it for me. The momentum was building, and I began to have more referrals and long-term clients. More people started hiring me as the trainer based on my reputation due to clients touting how much better they felt and moved. It was not uncommon for me to hear, “I can’t work out with other trainers, but I can work out with you.” I’ve been personal training and nutrition consulting since 2005, and earned my CES a few years ago. It made a profound difference in my approach to training as well as the results my clients were experiencing. I thought I had a pretty solid grasp on fitness before, but I’ve now seen firsthand how a CES allows a trainer to offer so much more to clients and believe it or not, class members. Being a group fitness instructor, I began to incorporate corrective exercise into my yoga, Pilates, barre classes and even my HIIT training! As a CES, I just have more to give. A friend of mine also earned her CES through ACE, and I am quite impressed with the results her clients receive as well since she’s been integrating the principles of the Biomechanics Method. Like myself, she’s been a trainer for years, and we’ve both seen a marked difference since we earned our CES certifications.
    Anyways, I’m so glad you put out this article, Tyler. I’m very, very passionate and such a believer in corrective exercise. I mentor younger trainers and encourage them like a broken record to obtain their CES. Having that working knowledge opens so many more doors for different populations. Becoming a CES will make a good trainer into a great trainer. I’ve seen how it sets a professional a part in our field. CES trainers that understand the techniques of corrective exercise and are grounded in biomechanics are way more effective whether we’re working with seniors or a more fragile client or be it the other end of the spectrum, training a lifter, elite athletes and everyone in between. It just optimizes the results of your clients no matter what conditioning level they’re at. I can’t say enough how much being a CES has elevated me as a professional, but I’ll tell you the true reward is beyond awesome when you hear feedback from your clients how their pain is diminishing or even gone! Those are the moments it gets real. I get to dance happy dances with people, when at one point, pain or tightness in a particular area and limited range of motion was holding them back from barriers they’ve been trying to break through for years, and I have the honor of being there to watch them crush that goal. At the end of the day, my clients aren’t just clients, they’re people, and over the years, many have become dear friends. The great reward comes in the form of being a trainer who helps remove those roadblocks and know that I have a part to play in improving the quality of people’s lives. THAT is the heart of a trainer.

    • Hello Heather,
      Well thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your experience with the NASM corrective exercise certification. It is definitely the certification I recommend the most towards personal trainers that are trying to specialize. It is truly the most valuable certification. It’s right up there with a good nutrition certification for any personal trainer. I am so glad that you have been able to help so many lives after receiving the CES. It’s also very encouraging for my readers to hear your story about getting more clients as well as earning more as a personal trainer. These really do go hand-in-hand. Keep on promoting the corrective exercise certification as this is what I am doing on my end as well. The more people that we have certified with a CES, the safer personal training will become and the more fantastic results our clients will see in the end. Thanks so much for stopping by and never hesitate to drop off your wisdom in the comment section again. I will be looking forward to it!

    • Hello Chris,
      I’m trying to find this answer out for you about the corrective exercise specialist from ISSA. I actually lent my book to a friend a while ago so I’m trying to contact him to find out how many pages. I can’t find this information out anywhere online either. I’ll get back to you and I know

    • Hey Denise,
      I’m sorry that you could not see the answer. I have had a couple people complaining about this and I am looking into correcting the problem as we speak.


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