Posts Tagged ‘education’

3 Pieces of Advice for Fitness Professionals and Chronic Pain Clients

Thursday, March 30th, 2023

It’s always an honor to be invited to speak on a podcast, and even more so when that podcast is for IDEA Health and Fitness Association. The interviewer, Sandy Todd Webster (Editor in Chief at IDEA) and I have known each other for years and Sandy was a client of mine at one time. Sandy truly knows the fitness industry inside and out and had some great questions that led to a fun exchange.

This is a short clip of our conversation where she asks me for any word of advice I would offer to fitness pros working with or wanting to work with clients dealing with chronic pain.

Don’t be an Abercrombie & Fitch Trainer

Thursday, January 7th, 2021

Back in the day, I considered myself a pretty “with it” kind of guy. I was up to date on music, fashion trends, etc. Keep in mind this was pre social media days and dial up internet, so you got your style through TV, magazines, clothing stores and social interactions. Living in Southern California and single at the time, there seemed to be an ever-present pressure to dress the part.

In those days I spent exponentially more time shopping for clothes then I do now. We would walk the malls or the trendy stores in Pacific Beach or downtown. One of those mall stores that is still around today is Abercrombie and Fitch. A store with the latest styles, hip décor and sales people as beautiful as the models in their ads.
Abercromie & Fitch models
Do you know how much money I have spent at Abercrombie & Fitch throughout my life? Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Is it because I didn’t like their clothes? Or because their clothes are too expensive? The answer is “no” to both. I did like some of their clothes and I did spend time in their stores until I didn’t.

After a few visits to more than one branch of their stores, I could not get past the genetically gifted salesperson in their early 20’s, still living with their parents, barely making above minimum wage, treating me like one of the Beverly Hillbillies walking into Tiffany’s.

Their arrogance, air of superiority and lack of interest in serving was palpable. This was their show, and I was fortunate to be granted an audience.

If you are a trainer, coach, therapist, chiropractor, etc., you may be communicating what those salespeople did, and you do not even know you are doing it. Especially if you yourself are fit, or attractive, or without pain or limitations, have a graduate degree, etc., you may be communicating signals of arrogance or superiority or even doubt when they describe why they have not achieved their health goals.

Especially at this time of the year, people are motivated for positive change. And although the numbers related to those that drop off are consistent every year, there may be a need for us to take a look in the mirror and ask if we are doing all that we can do. It is abundantly clear in the literature, that success of our clients or patients goes well beyond the mechanics of exercise or therapy.

I have learned a lot about this side of human interaction in our industry from Bobby Cappuccio. Some of you know Bobby from his sections in the PFMS curriculum. I encourage you to follow Bobby and/or check his website because he regularly provides excellent content.

Whether your interactions with clients are virtual or in person, my advice is the same:
1. Be empathetic.
2. Choose your words wisely.
3. Make your desire to serve your client’s needs your priority.
4. Don’t be a d*ck.

Anthony Carey on the LifeTime Fitness Podcast

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020

From the show notes:
Join Industry Veteran Anthony Carey and Jason Stella Discuss…
1. Why he has spent the majority of your career working on how to help people decrease their pain.
2. Discuss his PRACTICAL book called: “The Pain-Free Program: A Proven Method to Relieve Back, Neck, Shoulder and Joint Pain.
3. WHAT have you found to be the best ways to help, staying within the scope of being a trainer?
4. Explain the following concepts in his book
1. The Body’s Interrelatedness
2. Our Self-Healing Bodies
3. The need to take responsibility
4. Anthony’s unique way of putting exercises is specific groups called Form & Category
– What’s the differences between them
– Show some of the exercises within each area and how they may be able to help specific people?
5. Explain and show your invention, The CORE-TEX.
a. Why and how did you come up with this?
b. Can you show us some of the common ways you use this to help clients improve
3. Explain the course that you put together called the “Pain Free Movement specialist

Corrective Exercise Programming and Readiness

Monday, November 30th, 2020

What does readiness mean to you?

When designing the corrective exercise program for the chronic pain client, it means many things.

As you decide on your exercise selection, does a strategic sequence advance your objectives and build your client’s movement confidence?

The readiness in this case is based on many things, but at the top of the list is trust. Trust of their own capabilities without provoking pain.

This is precisely why we have created a framework for corrective exercise progressions.

Enjoy this clip and consider joining us on our mission to help those in pain live more comfortable and productive lives.

Corrective Exercise Static Wall Femur Rotations

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

The following exercise is taken from our library available at

We share this example with you as an exercise that you might find useful as well as to add to your understanding of the bio-psycho-social considerations we apply during programming.

This Level B exercise can also be found in my book, The Pain-Free Program: A Proven Method to Relieve Back, Neck, Shoulder and Joint Pain.

Biomechanical Outcomes:
•Increase bi-lateral hip rotation autonomous from gravitational influence over the pelvis and entire upper body.
•Enhance transverse plane hip rotation independent from the pelvis and lumbar spine motion.

Neurological | Physiological Outcomes:
•Enhance cognitive processing mechanisms associated with the planning phase (evaluation) and motor unit recruitment involved during the execution of exercise.
•Promote connective tissue extensibility associated with internal and external hip rotation.

Psycho | Social Outcomes:
•The introduction of localized and independent hip rotation fosters a novel experiential awareness designed to help expand maladaptive appraisals and challenge any associated neurosignatures of hip rotation avoidance.

If you have not taken advantage of the 24 FREE PASS to Function First Academy to see all of the great stuff there, now is your chance!

30 – static wall with leg rotation.wav from Kevin Murray on Vimeo.

Yellow Brick Road PFMS Sister Curriculum

Friday, December 7th, 2018

Written by
Kevin Murray M.A. (pending), CAFS,
Movement Masterminds – CEO
Function First – Director of Education
2012 CSEP CPT of the Year

An Evolution in Coaching Clients with Pain

Written within each client are specific events and circumstances that have significantly shaped what their chronic pain experience means to them.

Elite-level coaches are not only well versed in the realm of biomechanics, they’re also able to recognize, anticipate and consistently meet and exceed the deepest psychological and social needs of their clients; which are often revealed BEFORE the client ever steps foot onto the assessment or exercise floor.

The landscape of helping those in pain is expanding RAPIDLY… Yes, biomechanics are an important aspect of a client’s story, but with much of a clients’ suffering from chronic pain revolving around psychological and environmental factors, the consultation / intake phase becomes that much more imperative when coaching this demographic.

In this 2-min video clip, come behind-the-scenes of our latest collaboration & partnership where we discuss how one’s cognition’s (thoughts, feelings, perceptions, beliefs, values, etc) significantly contribute to an individual’s movement success – or lack there of.

So for the first time, a curriculum that centers solely on the psychological, emotional and environmental factors involved with coaching clients in pain is now available in an online format – exclusively through the American Council on Exercise.

Exclusive Partnership with the American Council on Exercise

The millions who live with & suffer from chronic pain are in desperate need of relief. Together with the American Council on Exercise, the Yellow Brick Road seeks to provide health and exercise professionals an online course that integrates:

• psychological theory,
• pain neuroscience,
• interpersonal relationship-building principles and
• client centered coaching essentials;

So whether you’re a personal trainer, strength & conditioning coach, corrective exercise specialist, health coach, physiotherapist, chiropractor, massage therapist… the entire framework is designed to compliment and fit into your specific area of movement expertise.

Enroll here

An Overview of a Function First Initial Visit

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018

We are regularly asked, “what does a visit at Function First look like?”.

Function First founder Anthony Carey takes you through an overview of what that first 2 hour appointment is all about and why it is so pivotal for so many.

Be sure to take note of the differences of how we approach our process compared to what you might experience elsewhere. Even if you are an existing Function First client, this video will be great to share with friends who you know can be helped by what we do.

Please pass along to those that are ready to take a powerful step forward with a movement based program that is backed by science.

Webinar Topics: Your Choice

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

We need your input. Give us your rankings for topics on our upcoming FREE webinar.

Please let us know with this 60 second survey. Four choices, let us know what you want most.

Four Reasons Why Becoming a Pain-Free Movement Specialist Will Change the Way You Help People

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

By Kevin Murray BSc, CPT, CES
Director of Education

#1 – Education By Way Of Principles
The Pain Free Movement Specialist curriculum is a principle-based outlook on movement and function. Principles are nature’s laws that forever endure, and cannot be broken. Principles are fundamental truths that have universal relevance.

Without principles, there is tremendous temptation to use methods, or other modalities that are not supported by, or based around correct principles.

Foam rolling, tennis balls, thera canes are just some of the modalities that come to mind. Make no mistake, a foam roller can be an excellent tool to guide the process towards creating positive change, but foam rolling itself is not corrective exercise.

When guided by correct principles, we can begin the corrective journey with any client, and be fully competent in guiding them down the direction best suited for their unique needs. It is during this process that we can then create an empowering environment where Pain-Free living is truly possible.

#2 – Understanding The Neuro-Matrix
When working with the client in pain – the nervous system is king. At Function First, we are guided by biomechanics, not ruled by them. Low back pain is much more than “tight hip flexors” or “excessive lumbar lordosis” or “over pronated feet”.

Pain is complex, and we cannot help the chronic pain population with just one simple solution. Understanding that pain is a complex system, we need to remember this principle; the longer an individual has been in pain, the less of a relationship the pain has to tissue damage. What does this mean?

Simply put, your clients’ pain could be related to fear avoidance, biopsychosocial stressors, motor control complications, low irritability thresholds, and the list goes on-and-on.

Pain neuroscience is a critical component behind Function First Mastery, which is why it’s part of both the online curriculum, and the subsequent live events that follow in levels two, three and four.

#3 – 1.5 Billion People Need Our Help
The numbers don’t lie… Heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined does not total the number of folks currently suffering from chronic pain. It’s clear the Health Care system in North America and other industrialized nations are on life support themselves, and cannot keep up with the number of chronic pain patients with the current blueprint.

There is good news however… A consciousness uprising has begun. Individuals are becoming more proactive and taking the initiative to act, rather than be acted upon. People are becoming more response-able (responsible) and are looking for alternatives, a different approach to solving their pain troubles. They want to be empowered and in control of their pain.

The Pain Free Movement Specialist curriculum is built around meeting this objective. At its base, it’s been created for those professionals who demand the most out of themselves; those whose purpose is to inspire and empower through the implementation of crystal clear corrective exercise principles, insights, objectives and outcomes.

#4 – 20 Years & Counting
Since 1994, Function First has been on the cutting edge of corrective exercise innovation and intellect, educating thousands of professionals at conferences, workshops, seminars and mentorships on how to create Pain-Free living through movement.

The Pain-Free Movement Specialist curriculum is the first of its kind, and is the culmination of all that Anthony has learned and assimilated in over 20 years of working with the chronic pain population. A frequent question that inevitably arises at live events is “how can I learn more?” We are so proud to provide this deep and immersive curriculum relating solely to working with the chronic pain population.

From day one of its inception, the purpose behind creating such a comprehensive online curriculum was to provide a backstage pass so we could reveal everything that makes the Function First Approach so powerful, and to make it available on a digital platform. With over 14 hours of content, we have left no stone un-turned.

You – the agents of change who are leading the Pain Free movement have spoken. The Pain-Free Movement Specialist curriculum is now available and we invite you to join us as we break from old traditions, old ways of thinking, and challenge the status quo to better serve this under serviced demographic that desperately needs our help.

The Pain-Free Movement Specialist Introduction

Monday, April 21st, 2014

The time has come for the fitness industry to rise to the occassion and better serve the 1.5 BILLON people world wide that are suffering from chronic pain.

See what the opportunity is and how Function First can share what has worked for us over the past 20 years working with the chronic pain population.