NASM CES Chapter 1: Rationale for Corrective Exercise
NASM CES Chapter 1: Rationale for Corrective Exercise 1

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    Program Objectives:

    • Relate the main concepts in anatomy and physiology and human movement to the corrective exercise ideas.
    • Find the attributes and the rational for programming corrective exercise.
    • Find some of the scope of practice and referral strategies used in allied health professions. 
    • Look at the proficiency of movement using the many methodologies of assessment. 
    • Make programs that use individualized movement and exercise. 
    • Use a spectrum of corrective tools, protocols, and other modalities aligned to client needs and goals.
    • Show effective communication and coaching with specific techniques for the maximization of adherence and engagement.
    • Communicate with clients to get the best recovery strategies for their own wellness.

    Earning Your Credential

    For the final exam, we need to know some important information:

    A passing score is a 70% or more

    There are 100 multiple choice questions

    We have 90 minutes to complete the test

    You have 3 maximum attempts to take the test

    The exam expires one year following the purchase

    Chapter Goals:

    • Find the main physical conditions and the factors of lifestyle that the average client must consider. 
    • Define corrective exercise.
    • Describe the rationale used for corrective exercise.
    • Find the results from normal physical conditions and factors of lifestyle and their effects on the kinetic chain.
    • Find the scope of practice and the parameters of that with the continuum of client care. 
    • Give a summary of the phases used in the corrective exercise continuum. 

    Rationale for Corrective Exercise

    Our research shows that musculoskeletal pain is more common than 50 years ago.

    Poor ability to move may also impact the rate of injury, the stress biomechanically, and the stress physiologically.

    But, to combat this, the use of appropriate movement prep intervention, an integrated approach with flexibility, core, balance, isolated strength, and dynamic warmups, may work to improve the absorption of force and reduce injury rates.

    This goes with the idea that decreases in activity and the poor performance of movements may lead to dysfunction and inevitably, injury.

    Corrective exercise may be used by all population and environments to reduce these incidences. 

    Corrective Exercise Philosophy

    The main objective in corrective exercise is to optimize the quality of our movements.

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    This works to enhance the performance, results, and the resistance to injury along with efficiency of movements and recovery.

    The role of the corrective exercise specialist is to not treat the musculoskeletal injury, but instead to reduce the likelihood of it occurring in clients and athletes.

    These techniques can also be applied following an injury once treatment has been received. 

    The Corrective Exercise Continuum

    Corrective exercise is used to describe the systematic process of finding dysfunctions of the neuromusculoskeletal system, then developing a plan of action, and lastly, implementing a strategy of correction. It uses the three step process of:

    1. Identifying the problem

    2. Solving the problem

    3. Implementing the solution

    The corrective exercise continuum has four main phases:

    1. Inhibit

    We use inhibitory techniques to reduce the tension and/or decrease the activity of the overactive tissues of the body. We accomplish this usually with the use of a foam roller and self-myofascial release. 

    2. Lengthen

    These techniques are used for increasing our ability to extend joints, lengthen muscles, and work on the range of motion for the parts of the body. this is done by static, active, or neuromuscular stretching. 

    3. Activate

    These are used for reeducating or increasing the activation of other muscles involved in movements. We accomplish it by implementing isolated strengthening techniques. 

    4. Integrate

    Integration techniques work to retrain the collective synergistic function of all muscles through the use of functional and progressive movements and integrating dynamic movements. 

    Before we implement those four phases, we must go through an integrated assessment to find the dysfunction and the way in which we will design the program as a whole. 

    Professional Scope of the Corrective Exercise Specialist

    Healthcare and Fitness

    The healthcare system is made up of many complementary and overlapping disciplines.

    One example is physical therapists working with orthopedic surgeons to facilitate the max recovery of their patients that they share.

    This is for ethical and legal reasons. 

    The scope of practice is the description of the limitations and boundaries of some medical interventions that a person may not be allowed to perform.

    This will apply to clinical, licensed people and those that are not licensed.

    The scope of practice may include acceptable caseloads, practice guidelines, and recommendations for referral to other professionals. 

    If some procedure is outside of the scope of practice for the professional, then taking action needs to be avoided, and the client needs to be referred out to another professional. 

    The Continuum of Client Care and Performance

    The healthcare system has these following disciplines:

    • Hospitals: the emergency clinics and trauma centers.
    • Ambulatory Care Centers: this includes the physicians and specialists for personal care.
    • Therapists: these include the many professions similar to athletic training, physical therapy, and massage therapy. 
    • Ancillary Facilities: this includes the dentists and optometrists.
    • Behavioral Health Specialists: this includes the psychiatrists and psychologists.
    • Alternative Medicine Practitioners: this includes professions such as the chiropractors and acupuncture specialists.
    • Long Term Care: these include home health and hospice workers. 
    • Health and Fitness Specialists: personal trainers, corrective exercise specialists, nutrition coaches, and group exercise instructors. 
    • Athletic Performance Specialists: this includes strength and conditioning coaches and performance specialists.

    Professional Responsibilities

    A corrective exercise specialist is someone who works in the field of health and fitness and they perform individualized assessments and make safe and effective exercise programs for individuals that are based on evidence and scientifically valid.

    They can serve clients with no medical or special needs, or they may collaborate with other healthcare professions.

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    The goal in total is to optimize the quality of our movements and enable performance at a consistent level of the desired fitness or performance outcome. 


    The corrective exercise specialists puts focus on optimization of movement quality of individuals.

    We do this by taking clients along the continuum of post rehab treatment. 


    The populations that corrective exercise is appropriate for is clients that are post rehab, fitness clients that don’t have special medical needs, and also recreational and competitive athletes.

    A history of injuries and medical release is needed from healthcare providers. 

    Professional Settings

    The common settings are places such as fitness facilities, private studios, healthcare offices that provide exercise services, and independent services. 

    Techniques and Skills

    These specialists are skilled in two main domains.

    These are assessment and programming.

    The corrective exercise specialists will use an individualized level of assessment so they can create a comprehensive profile of the client.

    These professionals also are required to hold a certification in CPR and AED, so that they can respond to emergency situations.

    Diagnosing and Treatment

    This involves a comprehensive review and an understanding of health history, symptoms, medical conditions, and then a determination of the specific condition of the client.

    The professional must also be ready to refer the clients to outside providers in cases where they might be outside of their scope of practice. 


    This may be acute or chronic and can come from multiple systems. It is impacted by variables that are social, psychological, and biological. 

    The Future

    There is a trend toward nonfunctional living that is recognized in the fitness industry.

    The health and fitness professionals are seeing a decrease in physical functionality with their clients and their athletes and they will strive to address these increasing problems. 

    NASM CES Chapter 1: Rationale for Corrective Exercise 2
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