This past month was a big month for updating my credentials. One of the most exciting additions is an official certification and insurance from the British Columbia Association of Kinesiologists to be an official Kinesiologist! Yay!
What does Kinesiologist mean?
A Kinesiologist in simple terms is a highly educated personal trainer or rehab specialist that works with people to regain fitness and strength after experiencing an injury. This injury could be sport related, work related, or perhaps you got in a car accident. They aren’t in charge of diagnosing or treating an injury, but instead work with other medical professionals to work through an exercise program based on what has been suggested by a physio.
A person with a Kinesiology degree is not necessarily a Kinesiologist. A Kinesiology degree provides a trainer with a TREMENDOUS educational background and experience for training, but unless they also have a certification and insurance they can’t take on official Kinesiologist work.
What does that mean for you?
The Kinesiologist enters the picture after the Physio and doctors have confirmed that the person is relatively pain free and ready to start on some gentle stretching and strengthening programs. The difference between a personal trainer and a Kinesiologist is that the Kinesiologist is educated and insured to work with clients who have a known injury that still requires some rehab within the training sessions. Generally personal training is not structured to treat specific injuries.
Now, most people have injuries and conditions from previous accidents, or sports related incidents that have happened years ago. In this case it’s ok to work with a trainer or Kinesiologist as long as the coach you choose is educated and experienced with your injury and how to adapt exercises to work for you. Because the injury is not ‘acute’ it is not in it’s stage of active rehab.
ICBC- Active Rehab programs
A Kinesiologist is most commonly known for their work with ICBC for people who have been in motor vehicle accidents. When people are in an accident and ICBC determines that a Kinesiologist is required once a person finishes physio, then the lawyers or ICBC set up a certain number of sessions in advance that the Kinesiologist will provide a rehab service. It’s important to check with me (or your Kinesiologist) about who is paying for this service in advance. Generally a Kinesiologist will start with 12-24 sessions of active rehab to begin a gentle stretching and strengthening program to start to bring the person back to good health and fitness. The programs generally aren’t ‘intense’ like you would imagine a personal training session. They need to slowly progress as to not injure the client further.
If I am not injured, do I need a Kinesiologist?
If injury prevention is important for you, I would choose a Kinesiologist. A body building coach, regular personal trainer, weight lifting coach, etc. is going to be your best option if you are looking 100 % for a certain aesthetic goal. For example, don’t hire a Kinesiologist to coach you into a body building competition, this is not their area of speciality.
A Kinesiologist who also does personal training is a good idea to get a well balanced training program that will keep you moving well, and prevent injuries. They will be able to do assessments and prescribe specific exercises based on deficiencies and weakness in your body.
If you have no interest in form, technique, or doing the ‘right’ exercises for you, then any personal trainer can support you. Sometimes people are just looking for someone to give them a butt kicking workout drill sergeant style, and that’s ok too.
Will I benefit as a ‘regular’ client of yours because of your new credentials?
All of my clients are familiar with the concept of ‘corrective exercises’. These are the exercises we tie into the program that aren’t designed for pushing the limits, or increasing strength, but are instead focussing on retraining a movement pattern, getting a muscle to fire, or fixing up an issue such as upper body posture. Every single good workout program should have a section of correctional exercises based on what your body needs to work and move better. Some examples of these might be a one leg glute lift, a ‘chop’, bird dog, or a lat pull down with a leg lift.
Although my regular clients aren’t doing ‘active rehab’ programs, they still benefit from my background knowledge in terms of how I prescribe, coach, and teach them in our sessions. As a result of a Kinesiologists increased training, they often charge a little bit more. You definitely get your value of education by paying the extra price though.
You can also check with your company benefits to see if you qualify for training sessions with a Kinesiologist. Some benefit programs will pay for an ergonomic assessment (assessment of your work station to see if it is set up correctly). Take a look at what you are able to claim, and benefit from my services!
If you have any questions about Active Rehab programs, or working with a Kinesiologist, please e-mail me. firstname.lastname@example.org
The photo from the blog is linked to this website from Total Therapy, another Kinesiology studio in Vancouver, that has a great blog about what kinesiologist does. You can read it here: