FREE DOWNLOAD! The Scapular Movement Map - A great functional assessment and therapeutic exercise resource!

Getting Started With A
Well Designed Exercise Program

How To Begin

There are many kinds of exercises, put together into a variety of exercise programs, for many different reasons. The key is understanding what your ultimate goal is and to integrate complementary exercises in a way that achieves your objective.

Are you trying to recover from an injury? Prepare your body for surgery? Want to get strong? Train for an athletic event? Improve your balance and stability? Stand up from a chair on your first try? Get ready to have a baby? Rebound after cancer treatment?


The Purpose of a Well Designed Exercise Program

Regardless of your reason for needing a well designed exercise program, there are common goals that every exercise professional understands and will implement for every one of their clients.

Your fitness coach will work with you to design a personalized program that will:

  • Teach proper abdominal activation and pelvic/trunk stabilization with a neutral spine;
  • Help to move the scapulae and the pelvis without moving the torso;
  • Make sure that you can move your arms and legs with out moving your torso – both on the same side and on opposite sides of your body
  • Teach proper postural awareness during functional movements such as sit to stand, stair climbing, squatting, reaching, and forward and lateral bending;
  • Correct motor patterning dysfunctions occurring at your hip, pelvis, spine and shoulder;
  • Increase the strength and endurance of your diaphragm and other trunk muscles, the gluteus maximus and medius, middle and lower trapezius, and the latissimus dorsi;
  • Practice function-specific movements like pushing and pulling, stepping up and down, and sitting and standing using safe spinal stabilization;
  • Integrate the diaphragm, abdominal muscles, lungs, and pelvic floor while breathing during all activity;
  • Improve aerobic capacity and standing endurance; and
  • Exercise safely with awareness of good technique.


Understanding Exercise Program Design

There are a wide variety of exercise professionals that can help you achieve all of the above and more - and you can have fun at the same time!

You can train with a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a chiropractor, a personal trainer, a kinesiologist, a yoga teacher, a Feldenkrais instructor, a Bowen therapist, a Pilates teacher, a Buteyko breathing educator, an ELDOA specialist, a strength and conditioning coach, and athletic therapist - the list goes on.

When you are looking for a particular type of exercise, it is often helpful to seek out a coach or trainer with additional training and certification in your area of interest. This specialization, regardless of their formal education, may be the key to achieving your desired goals.


Choosing the Right Person For You

Ask for referrals from trusted friends who exercise regularly or have experience working with a particular trainer or therapist. Talk to a variety of fitness professionals at your local gym, sign up for a workout or two with a few and find a match. You can also ask your family physician or medical specialist for a referral to someone in their network. 

Remember, as health care professionals, we all work together. If we know you would be better off working with someone else once we get to know you and discover your goals, we will refer you to a colleague.

If you start working with someone and then decide after one session or five that you aren't a good team - you should explain that you are moving on to work with someone else. We would much rather you are happy while getting healthy and fit than working with someone who isn't quite your match.

Find someone you click with and that makes your body feel good. You will always have our support when this is your goal!

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