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Here in the US we are recovering for Thanksgiving. Right around the corner is Christmas and then New Year’s Eve. By the time the dust clears and the college bowls games are on TV your clients have gained 15 pounds and completely forgotten about exercise. But more importantly, these events will produce new health club members. They join enthusiastically with the goal of getting in shape, losing those extra pounds and becoming healthy. They join and are regular exercise participants for 2-3 weeks and then they disappear. Where did they go? What happened to all those new members? They are still paying their dues but what happened? Well they are at the local physical therapy clinic, chiropractic office or sportsmed center due to injuries sustained in the health club. But how can that be?

Well the average de-conditioned North American adult can not tolerate the exercise in a health club. The average deconditioned human has a weak rotator cuff, weak abdominals and transverse abdominis, undeveloped vastus mediali, tight hamstrings and weak gluteals…just to name a few. When they hit the gym in those first three weeks…the guys want to build upper body muscle but they have puny rotator cuff muscles and the ladies want to tone and slim their thighs but they have undeveloped vastus mediali and gluts. These scenarios lead to rotator cuff tendonitis and/or impingement syndrome in men and patello-femoral syndrome and lumbar pain in women. Now will every new club member experience this….no. But physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists and physicians can bet the first 30-45 days of every new year we will see a significant number of HEALTH CLUB REFUGEES!!! They were injured in the club and are seeking asylum from their pain in our offices.

This is very easily remedied by post rehab professionals. Many of these clients may have medical conditions when they join the club. If they note on their medical history form any medical issues, then perform a musculoskeletal screening on the client. The screening, not a full blown assessment, will allow you to identify any potential problem areas with exercise and allow you to make the necessary modifications before the exercise program starts. This will give you instant credibility with your clients and minimize the loss of clients and revenue due to client injury. The musculoskeletal screening is presented in our Medical Exercise Specialist workshop and Essentials of Post Rehab Fitness workshop. You may also learn the 11 components of the musculoskeletal screening through our PostRehabWorks Infoware.

Performing an initial musculoskeletal screening will go along way in minimizing the loss of clients due to injury when the large influx of new members join the club. The difference between seeing a significant loss in training revenue in February and March may be the performance of a simple 15 minute 11-point musculoskeletal screening. Learn the 11 point screening from our PostRehabWorks infoware. Click the link below to listen and learn how to avoid producing “health club refugees”.



MP3 File


Dr Mike

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