What is Active Rehab?

Active rehab with a kinesiologist is halfway between personal training and physiotherapy.

To be more specific, active rehabilitation (or exercise therapy) is a general term for exercise based treatment of a wide range of health conditions. Registered kinesiologists are human movement experts and perfectly suited to help their clients become more active or return to activities they love using physical activity. 

Get the long term benefits of exercise

Active rehab is all about using the fundamentals of healthy exercise: movement for the sake of optimizing your body’s function. In an active rehabilitation program you will be actively participating in mobility, strength, flexibility, and mental relaxation/visualization exercises with the support of your kinesiologist. 

Think of active rehab like medical-grade personal training because- it combines the movement and strengthening components of personal training with the clinical specificity of physiotherapy. 

What will I do in an Active Rehabilitation session?

Based on your goals, current abilities, and injury diagnosis (by a physiotherapist or family doctor), your kinesiologist will create and guide you through an exercise based program called a treatment plan. Each program will be designed differently for each client because each client’s body and current condition is different. Your first session with a Kinesiologist will be an initial assessment where your therapist will look at how your body moves and where your strengths are. This will provide the focus for your customized plan.

A tailored active rehab program

You can participate in an active rehabilitation program alongside other non-passive or passive treatments like massage therapy, physiotherapy, and acupuncture. Your kinesiologist, with your consent, will collaborate with other practitioners to create a holistic and effective treatment plan including an exercise based program designed to help you restore mobility.

For example, treating concussion symptoms from a motor vehicle accident injury or sports injury will look different from a low back or foot injury. 

Your active rehab journey

Kinesiologists will use the following components to design a program that will address your particular condition. 

  • Range of motion training
  • Resistive exercise
  • Balance and agility training
  • Strength and endurance training
  • Aerobic conditioning

Exercise that suits you, not the other way around

Active rehab programs targets each of these exercise categories with specific movements or activities. There are unlimited exercises because variations can be designed for any common exercise to perfectly suit your needs. It is up to your exercise therapist or kinesiologist to tailor the program to align with your goals. Your kinesiologist will be teaching you correct body mechanics for movements performed in the gym and in your day-to-day life (lifting groceries for example).

Active rehabilitation exercises

Some exercises that you may perform in active rehab are:

  • Squats and split squats
  • Rows
  • Bird dogs
  • Rotator cuff stability exercises
  • Wall angels, open books for shoulder mobility
  • Hip hinges
  • Single leg balance, Bosu and stability board exercises
  • Ladder work for agility
  • Circuit training or cardio intervals for aerobic exercise

Never been to the gym before? 

Not a problem! 

You can participate in an active rehab program with no exercise background or experience. You will learn to move your body in a safe, controlled and comfortable way, all at your own pace. You’ll be able to build confidence with moving your body and learn to independently perform exercises in the gym or at home with less risk of re-injury. Participating in an active rehab program usually gets you stronger and more resilient then you were before your injury. 

We Help Clients Recover

An overwhelming body of evidence suggests that exercise can improve body weight (up or down), combat health conditions and diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cancer, improve mood and energy levels, promote quality sleep and generally improve social interactions and quality of life.

Some conditions that we work with clients to improve are:

  • Soft tissue injury from a sports or car accident
  • Chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Hernia (all types)
  • Obesity
  • Post-concussion symptoms
  • Pre or post surgery strengthening and recovery
  • Neurological conditions like stroke or spinal cord injury
  • balance issues

Get your feet wet

Not ready for the gym yet?

Clients that find exercising on land difficult or painful can start with kinesiologist-led aquatic therapy sessions at a local community center. Aquatic therapy is a gentle approach to active rehabilitation that allows you to perform movements against the resistance of the water that help strengthen your muscles, improve your range of motion and function and reduce pain. Water drastically decreases the forces of gravity on your body when fully submerged and is excellent for conditions that are aggravated by walking or stairs, such as arthritis. 

Prescribed exercises are the key to the healing process

There are rare cases when exercise is not recommended, for example when a client has an unstable or acute cardiac condition, or unhealed fractures. To make sure you're ready for exercise, a PARQ+ form is an essential part of getting started. The PARQ+ determines your readiness for exercise therapy, and recommends seeking guidance from a medical doctor when necessary.

Symmetrix offers Active Rehab in Vancouver and Burnaby for ICBC clients free of charge, make sure to check it out if you've recently been in a car accident.

we’ve changed lives

Excellent rehabilitation facility. Chris has experience with rehabilitation that I have not seen with other practitioners.

Raj Dhiman


we’ve changed lives

I have an injury from right leg knee cap to my back on my right side that I have been struggling with since 2017. I am now able to do some running and have definitely gotten a lot stronger and more resilient. Symmetrix has been amazing.

Christine Ru


we’ve changed lives

I have loved training with Dash and the team at Symmetrix. My knee has not felt this strong with squatting and hiking in a long time.

Kaitlin Newman

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Symmetrix Studio Hours

Yaletown Studio

Monday-Friday: 6am to 8pm
Saturday: 9 am to 6pm
Sunday: CLOSED

1059 Cambie St
Vancouver, B.C. V6B 5L7

Burnaby Heights Studio

Monday-Friday: noon to 8pm
Saturday-Sunday: CLOSED

204-4580 Hastings St
Burnaby, B.C. V5C 2K4