More Fitness. More Knowledge. More Results.

Summarizing our talk on posture

* research has shown that poor posture probably is not the cause of pain. Telling your client that their posture may cause may in fact actually cause pain! This is called the nocebo effect, be careful with your words. Here are two videos to help elaborate


* visual measurement of posture is poor in trained professionals. Personal trainers don’t have the extensive experience PT’s have in subjects like this. If we can’t accurately measure it we can’t accurately do anything about it!

* There are no specific muscle strength imbalances that cause specific changes. Posture is individual.

* no research to suggest that minor devidations affect force output

* some research suggest that exercise interventions are not effective

*FINAL THOUGHTS: Is addressing and correcting posture within the scope of the personal trainer? Perhaps a trainer could confindently say that a kyphotic individual shouldn’t overhead press due to lack of shoulder ROM. However, it should be the goal for the trainer to get the client more active and to exercise within their capablities. To quote PT Jason Silvernail from an interview he did with me

“In terms of what fitness professionals ‘should’ be talking about, I’m not as sure about that. I do wish that so many of them would stop trying to offer medical advice or manage medical conditions which I see a fair bit of in online interactions. Many seem envious of the medical providers in a way that doesn’t make sense to me. My wife has an exercise science MS and has worked as a trainer before and she commented that she had a big enough a job trying to motivate and guide people to adopt good health and fitness habits without playing doctor so she confidently deferred all that stuff to medical authorities and put her focus where she could add value for clients. I think nonmedical people like personal trainers and massage therapists can be outstanding coaches and guides to people’s healthy lifestyle and prevention and they have far longer and more lasting influence than I do as a physical therapist with maybe 4-6 visits to treat them and get them back to life.

I would like to see more people in the training and massage communities embrace that kind of guide and coach role rather than so frequently try play doctor and speak beyond their training and expertise. I think trainers like you can have huge long-lasting positive impacts on your clients’ health behaviors and focusing on that seems to me to be where the value is in your community.

Who adds more value for your average client, Bob, who is overweight and inactive and eats a poor diet? Me the DPT who sees them for 4 visits to help with his shoulder pain or you the trainer who has the power to guide him toward lifestyle changes that can lower his chances of developing chronic disease and keep him healthy for years to come? Seems to me good trainers and massage therapists have a lot to be proud of in the services they can offer their clients – and accurate health advice that reinforces what they get from their medical providers is a major item in that list. I hope this helped in that regard!”

Finally check out this video by Nick Tumminello on general exercise before corrective exercise


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