PINEHURST – As the lead exercise specialist at the FirstHealth Center for Health & Fitness-Pinehurst, Randy Ballard is known as a fitness professional with a special ability for working with people with physical limitations.
One of those people is Hope Miller, a Moore County resident who was left with limited use of her right arm and leg after a stroke. Ballard works with Miller several times a week, encouraging her in a strength-training and conditioning workout that includes time on the treadmill and on the cross-trainer. She also swims and has recently started taking Zumba classes.
“He’s wonderful, wonderful,” Miller says about Ballard.
Ballard recently earned his certification as a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) corrective exercise specialist, which has given him additional tools and knowledge for working with the chronically ill and people with injuries. The goal is injury prevention – identifying and correcting faulty movement patterns in order to avoid injury or further injury.
“Randy exemplifies the very idea of medical fitness,” says John Caliri, director of the FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness. “He sees and understands that everyone can improve their personal level of ability, whether that leads to the highest levels of athletic performance or being able to stand up from a chair on your own. This certification continues to highlight his unique abilities and shows how he can help a vast array of individuals.”
The scientifically based education of the CES specialization includes a step-by-step guide for medically proven exercise programs that focus on injury prevention and recovery. The certification was developed in response to a growing need for professionals with the ability to assist people with muscular and skeletal impairments, muscle imbalances or post-rehab concerns.
“If your movement patterns are faulty, I can identify the problem and give you some corrective exercises that keep you from further injuries down the road,” Ballard says.
Individuals who might benefit from Ballard’s help could include a golfer with a bad knee whose compensating movements have caused problems with a hip or an individual at risk of rotator cuff injury because of the forward head position and rounded shoulders of “upper-cross syndrome.”
“If you’re predisposing yourself to injury, you definitely want to improve that,” Ballard says. “Any type of athlete can benefit from it.”
According to Ballard, his CES education provided detailed exercises for specific types of injuries and changes the way he works with certain clients.
“The assessment process is different from what I have done in the past,” he says. “The screenings help me identify the movement patterns that need to be addressed.”
For more information on programs offered by the FirstHealth Center for Health & Fitness-Pinehurst, call 715-1800.