PT on the Net Research

Profiting as a Corrective Exercise Specialist


Learning Objectives:

  1. To learn how to establish and market yourself as a corrective exercise specialist
  2. To learn how to enhance your professional reputation by integrating corrective exercise into your current programs
  3. To learn how a corrective exercise specialist can network successfully with the medical profession

With the majority of personal training clients complaining of muscle and movement dysfunction affecting their ability to workout successfully, the application of corrective exercise to fitness programs is becoming commonplace (Price 2018). However, most fitness professionals with corrective exercise talents do not promote themselves effectively to capitalize on the specialty skills they possess.  This article explains how to establish and market yourself as a reputable corrective exercise specialist in order to attract more clients, network successfully with the medical profession, and build a thriving business that caters to people with corrective exercise needs.

Getting Certified is Essential

When people are looking for a fitness professional who offers corrective exercise specialty services, they will make assumptions about your ability to assist them based on two things:

  1. Your knowledge and experience in corrective exercise
  2. Your corrective exercise specialist qualifications

While you may already have knowledge and/or experience in corrective exercise, obtaining a recognized Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) certification from a credible source is absolutely necessary in order to establish yourself as a professional in this area. Recognition of your corrective exercise skills from a reputable educational organization will help clients feel secure knowing that you are suitably qualified, and comfortable that you can successfully assist them in realizing their pain-relief, movement, and performance goals.

Perfect Your Corrective Exercise Methods

Once you have obtained your CES credential, be sure to integrate corrective exercise into all client programs. Your effectiveness in corrective exercise will be best served by adhering to the step-by-step assessment and exercise strategies you learned in your chosen certification. As you practice and perfect the practical methods you have been taught it is also important to be conscious of your communication style when introducing clients to corrective exercise. Utilizing non-technical jargon as you perform assessments and explaining the rationale behind recommended exercises will enable clients to feel involved in the corrective exercise process. It will also increase their confidence in your abilities as a corrective exercise specialist and boost your professional reputation (Gerber 2001).

Evaluate Your Marketing Opportunities

Marketing yourself successfully as a corrective exercise specialist requires planning, time and effort. If done haphazardly, however, it can cost you a lot of money without the returns. Carefully evaluating the strengths of your current business and customer base, assessing your competition, and considering the corrective exercise services you plan to add to attract new clients can enable you to select and implement marketing strategies that will prove effective while not breaking the bank.

Build on Your Current Strengths

You can evaluate beneficial ways to market your corrective exercise services by better understanding what you currently do well from a business standpoint. If you are unsure of your business forte, develop a list of your strengths by conducting a survey of your current clients. Ask them what they specifically find endearing or valuable about you and your business. Once you become aware of what makes your business special, weave your corrective exercise skills into that strength. For example, if clients especially like that you provide small group personal training services you might consider offering small group corrective exercise classes.

Beat Out the Competition

Conducting an analysis of fitness professionals and/or businesses in your local area is another way to ensure the marketing strategies you employ will help you stand out from the competition. For example, if a lot of other personal trainers claim they offer pain-relief exercise programs, but you are the only professional in your area with a corrective exercise specialist certification from a reputable source, then highlight your CES qualification(s) in your marketing materials, email signature, and website to take full advantage of this competitive edge.

Promote What Clients Want

Every service your business offers has a feature and a benefit. Features of your corrective exercise services, for instance, would be musculoskeletal assessments and self-myofascial release techniques. However, potential clients are typically not interested in the features of a service, but rather with the benefits those services provide. Here are some examples of features and benefits for corrective exercise services.

When creating your marketing materials be sure to use language that highlights the benefits your corrective exercise services will provide rather than promoting just the features.

Use Corrective Exercise with All Clients

Clients who are used to a particular exercise routine may not feel entirely at ease when you decide to incorporate corrective exercise into their workouts. However, with almost 90 percent of all fitness clients experiencing musculoskeletal limitations and dysfunction negatively affecting their workouts, your current and continued business success depends on integrating these strategies into all your clients’ programs (Schroeder & Donlin, 2013). Following are some strategies to help you begin this process.

Pique Clients’ Interest

Introduce current clients to corrective exercise by arousing their interest in the subject matter. Discussing corrective exercise and biomechanics with clients will prompt them to start telling you about their own aches, pains, and movement limitations. They may also tell you about all the people they know who have similar issues, and they may ask whether corrective exercise can help. Starting a dialogue about corrective exercise provides the perfect segue to introducing it into your current clients’ programs and establishing yourself as a bona fide corrective exercise specialist (Conrad 1998).

Demonstrate Your Skills

Once you have started a conversation about corrective exercise and its benefits, take every opportunity to demonstrate how it can be included in a client’s program (Price 2018). For example, suggest to a person that they arrive ten minutes early for their next session so that you can introduce them to some corrective exercise strategies. While this may initially take additional time, your perceived value to clients will increase, allowing you to raise your rates as you continue using corrective exercise during their regular session times in the future.

Encourage Referrals with Corrective Exercise

Addressing a client’s imbalances during their regular workouts is another great way to integrate corrective exercise into an existing program that can also generate possible referrals. If a client complains of knee pain when they are squatting, for example, take the opportunity to do a quick assessment to uncover the potential cause of their discomfort and offer some corrective exercise solutions. Whenever you have taught a client to perform a new corrective exercise, follow up with them in their next session to review their technique. Reviewing the new exercise gives the client an opportunity to ask questions, and it also gives you the opportunity to give them positive feedback about the gains they have made by using corrective exercise. This strategy will increase their acceptance of corrective exercise as part of their regular program, and also encourages them to speak highly of your services to friends, family and colleagues increasing the potential of valuable referrals to your business (Price & Bratcher, 2010).

Network and Grow

As your confidence as a corrective exercise specialist grows, it is of utmost importance that you work within your scope of practice as a fitness professional. This means you should never diagnose or treat a medical condition (Price 2018). Working within your professional bounds increases your credibility with your clients, and with the medical profession. Everyone can feel comfortable referring others to your business knowing that you will work within your delineated role and seek outside help from licensed medical professionals if required.

Seeking out the expertise of licensed medical professionals to help your clients not only offers a more complete service for your customers, but it also provides a potential referral source for future clients. Doctors need well-trained fitness professionals they can trust for referring patients that require corrective exercise programs. Establishing and maintaining lines of communication with these medical professionals by referring your own clients to them when needed makes it easy for them to refer their patients to you in return.

Achieving Continued Success

Current clients, potential customers and your network of referral sources like to see your proven track record assisting people with corrective exercise needs. Therefore, as your corrective exercise services prove effective, let people know about your successes through client testimonials on your website, social media outreach and client emails to help reinforce continued confidence in your skills.

Conclusion

Profiting from your corrective exercise services effectively requires you to take an in-depth look at your current business, your competition, and the needs of your client base. Once you have completed this evaluation use that information to develop persuasive marketing messages, and implement them in ways that will attract customers, build valuable referral networks and support your business growth as a Corrective Exercise Specialist.

References

Conrad, L.J. (1998). Guerrilla marketing: Secrets for making big profits from your small business. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Gerber, M.E. (2001). The e-myth revisited: Why most small businesses don’t work and what to do about it. (2nd ed). New York, NY: Harper Collins.

Price, J. (2018). The BioMechanics Method for corrective exercise. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Price, J., & M. Bratcher. (2010). The BioMechanics Method corrective exercise specialist certification program. San Diego, CA: The BioMechanics Press.

Price, J., & M. Bratcher. (2012). Corrective exercise business professional educational course. San Diego, CA: The BioMechanics Press.

Schroeder, J., & Donlin, A. (2013). IDEA fitness programming and equipment trends report. San Diego, CA: IDEA Health and Fitness Association.

Silk, A.J. (2006). What is marketing? Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.