What is a Kinesiologist?
Kinesiology is the study of human movement as it relates to the aging process and disease. Kinesiologists are experts on human movement, exercise prescription and exercise for all populations or individuals with an injury or illness. Kinesiologists must complete a four year bachelor’s degree program and be registered with the British Columbia Association of Kinesiologists (BCAK).
What can a Kinesiologist help with?
Kinesiologists have in-depth knowledge on exercise prescription for all special population groups. Their knowledge of biomechanics, anatomy, physiology and disease and aging allows them to create safe and effective exercise programs for special populations that might have medical limitations or concerns. Including elderly populations, individuals with diabetes, heart conditions or any other disease that might limit their ability to exercise
If you are recovering from an injury, a kinesiologist can help continue your rehabilitation through an individualized exercise program to increase strength, flexibility and mobility in a safe and effective manner to prevent reinjury and continue recovery.
Kinesiologists can also work with elite athletes looking to optimize performance, individuals who are new to exercise, individuals who are looking to improve posture, prepare for an upcoming surgery or improve general fitness and health.
What will a session look like?
In your first session your kinesiologist will discuss your medical history and goals with you. They will then conduct a function movement assessment to evaluate your range of motion, flexibility, muscle strength and movement patterns. Each session will include strengthening and endurance exercises as well as mobility and flexibility to help you achieve your goals. Please bring athletic clothing and water to each session.
Frequently Asked Kinesiology Questions
What is the difference between a kinesiologist and physiotherapist?
Whether you are experiencing an injury, chronic pain or would like to improve your posture or movement, our team of physiotherapists and kinesiologists are here to help you achieve your goals. Both our kinesiologists and physiotherapists are experts in human movement. The difference between physiotherapy and kinesiology is that physiotherapists are able to perform a physical assessment of your injury. In addition, they can provide passive therapy including manual therapy (ie. joint and soft tissue mobilizations/manipulations, massage and trigger point release), and needling (acupuncture and IMS dry needling). Another key difference is that Physiotherapists trained in Canada have obtained a Master’s Degree from a Canadian University. The Kinesiologists at Westcoast SCI hold a bachelor’s degree from a Canadian University. Both our team of physiotherapists and kinesiologists work together to teach and prescribe therapeutic exercise to help recovery from injury, prevent injury or maintain mobility and an active lifestyle.
Why would you go to a kinesiologist?
Our registered kinesiologists are an integral part of our team of healthcare professionals. They are human movement specialists and are trained to improve specific areas of strength and conditioning as well as cardiovascular fitness. Kinesiologists have extensive knowledge on exercise prescription for rehabilitation post injury, understand how to reduce pain and increase mobility. They are performance coaches and can work with special population groups such as those with chronic disease or cognitive and emotional deficits. Whether you are new to exercise and have never stepped foot in a gym, or are looking for someone to help with your rehab goals or an athlete ready to take your game to the next level, our kinesiologists are ready to help you reach your goals.
All of our kinesiologists share a space with our physiotherapists to provide optimal communication and continuation of care as you move from initial stages of injury or rehabilitation to more generalized strength and conditioning, return to work, sport, or life.
How long does kinesiology take to work?
This really depends on both the commitment from your registered kinesiologist and yourself. As the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Your health care professional will sit down with you during the initial assessment and help determine your goals and aspirations. During your kinesiology session, we will provide you with performance coaching and the tools you need to obtain your goals. However, we are unable to physically exercise for you. That is the commitment required by you to reach your ultimate goal. For example, we can provide you with as much guidance, motivation and resources as we can regarding what you do outside of your sessions. However, if you choose to eat fast food every meal and your goal is to lose weight, we are limited in how quickly you will reach your goals.
What’s the difference between a personal trainer and a kinesiologist?
A Registered Kinesiologist will more often than not, complete a 4 year degree from a recognized university. After they complete their schooling, they must register with an accredited association. In British Columbia, we have the BC Association of Kinesiologists (BCAK). This is a regulatory body that helps bring awareness to the health profession as well as provides guidelines and regulations on the scope of practice of a registered kinesiologist. In order to keep good standing with the BCAK, a kinesiologist must continually update their course work and stay up to date on their skills.
A personal trainer does not have a regulatory body. The only requirement to call someone a personal trainer is that they carry a certificate from an organization that educates how to be a personal trainer. They would need to prove this in order to obtain liability insurance. The training can be as fast as a 6 week program and as in depth as a year long program.
Fortunately, many personal trainers are also kinesiologists. And in our care team, many of our Registered Physiotherapists are also kinesiologists!
How many times a week should you see a personal trainer?
How often should you see a personal trainer is a very personal question. It boils down to the individual, their commitment level, motivation, financial situation and the goals.
Some people will need accountability of having a standing appointment and therefore will be required to work with their personal trainer more often, however, others may just need their personal trainer to teach them a new exercise, check their technique and adjust their intensity (how much weight, number of repetitions and sets). Initially, one may need to work with their personal trainer twice a week for a few weeks then wean down to once a week and then even once a month.
Also, if you’re new to exercising (weight training), then we would recommend training with your personal trainer more often initially to make sure you have a solid foundation and understanding of technique. Poor technique can lead to injury and therefore should be avoided at all costs.
Will a personal trainer help me lose weight?
If your goal is to lose weight, then yes, your personal trainer can help you lose weight. This really comes down to the “why” of deciding to exercise and work with a personal trainer. Finding and understanding your goals is one of the most important things a personal trainer should do with you. The initial appointment should spend a significant amount of time asking you questions to define your goals and set the expectations. If this is not done, then the chances that you’ll be disappointed or worse give up increases dramatically.