When most people think of personal trainers, one of the first things that come to mind is high level fitness training and weight lifting. However there is a large market for personal trainers in the post rehab market, working with regular everyday people and clients that have just finished their physical therapy rehabilitation.
Quite often many people’s physical therapy benefits just don’t permit them to stay with physical therapy treatments long enough to become fully rehabilitated. These people end up being discharged from physical therapy not fully up to par with where they should be. This population can benefit greatly from the skills of a personal trainer familiar with their specific needs. But in order for the personal trainer to gain these people as clients, the physical therapist or physician needs to know who to send them to. Following are three ways to be the personal trainer that gets these referrals.
The first step is for the trainer to begin attending continuing education, seminars or other related courses that can educate the trainer in areas of rehabilitation. For instance a course in medical terminology can help the trainer communicate better with health professionals. Other courses exist that can teach the trainer understand proper exercise progressions for conditions like knee replacements, ACL reconstructions, back and shoulder surgeries, obesity, and so on. The NIH publishes much information and the ACSM offers many certifications and many other agencies offer post rehab courses as well. It is not enough to just understand what training programs are safe, but which exercises and movements are not safe for a particular post rehab client. Once this education has been done, and the health professional realizes you understand basic terms and understanding of the conditions they treat, they will often be more inclined to choose you over others.
Second, utilizing a software program for exercise training such as a desktop or online exercise software system can significantly put you on the health professional facility’s radar. The personal trainer can work with the health professional in creating proper exercise protocols, and progressions. Not only do these tools enhance your professional look, but it shows the clinics you can be a serious part of a medically supervised personal training team.
And finally, professional fitness assessment software that can establish proper goals, perform and track appropriate test results is a must have. Referring health professionals want to know the trainer can provide correct direction and create suitable, measureable goals and goal progressions for the post rehab client. And they want to know you can and know how to perform appropriate tests and track progressions of those tests.
Once these three items are in place, put together a resume’ on yourself, your business and your education. Create professional booklets with sample exercise programs, along with goal and test reports. Then set up interviews and take this information to local physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists and other related professions. A little hard work and perseverance can pay off in a big way and provide a steady and continued source of client referrals.