When people decide they need to sort their general health and fitness out, they usually visit either a personal fitness trainer or, if something has gone painfully wrong, a physiotherapist.

In actual fact, both offer a complementary service which, combined, can support you to improve your health and wellbeing.

Male personal trainer with female client on swiss ball

Physios and Personal Trainers should share a Holistic approach to Improving Fitness

I think there should be a lot more crossover between the two disciplines than there is, especially when you consider the similarities in how they operate:

  • Getting fitter isn’t all about lifting weights or running marathons; good practitioners of both skills look holistically at a client: at their lifestyle, activity level, daily work routine, stress levels, sleep, nutrition and their mental state.
  • Knowledge of posture and how you walk, run and the range of movement in your joints is as important to a personal trainer (PT) as it is to a physio, to get the most out of a training regime and to ensure you avoid injury.
  • Both can help you achieve a particular goal, whether it’s recovering from an injury, preparing for a physical challenge or improving your general health.

A lot of physio rehabilitation is about building up core and muscle strength which helps with posture, balance and protecting the back and vulnerable joints like the knee or ankle. This is where the personal training side can help too, in developing an exercise programme to work specifically on the right muscles.

Whilst there is a lot of overlap between physios and PTs, each discipline also has its own areas of expertise. That’s why you will get a better outcome when you have access to both a physio and a personal trainer under the same roof. A physio can treat any existing injuries, or advise on ways to avoid aggravating vulnerable joints, while a PT generally has more experience devising a bespoke exercise programme and motivating you to stick to it!
Despite all this, physiotherapists and PTs usually find themselves working on the same issues independently, and it’s rare to find both skills in the same person.

Bringing Physios and Personal Trainers under one Roof

That’s why, at Petersfield Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic, we decided to bring in a specialist personal fitness trainer to work with us, so Mick Dawson became part of our team.

Mick has a diploma in Personal Training and Sports Injury Therapy. He volunteers every summer at Woodlands disabled campsite near Farnham working with cerebral palsy sufferers.

He was also part of the physio team for the European Veteran Rugby Association competition at Farnham RUFC in September 2015 and in his spare time, Mick is a keen rugby player. He also runs our golf-specific exercise classes for clients.

Take the Best of Both Worlds

We can all benefit from regular sessions with a personal trainer to really motivate us to change our lives, and a regular check-up from a physio can make a big difference to your wellbeing by spotting problems early and correcting them.

So, whether you’re training for a limited period to achieve a goal or want to maintain your good health and wellbeing into old age, I recommend you to find a practice that offers the whole range of expertise.


This blog post was written in association with Bill Blogs