Orthopedic Fitness Specialist Online Course


This product is an online, self-study course.

It is estimated that 50 million Americans experience daily joint pain and discomfort due to joint damage or injury. Another 8.6 million more people are dealing concomitantly with low back pain. This combination, once introduced to weakened muscles and bones generally results in decreased mobility and stability, diminished strength, and a compromised ability to perform activities of daily living. Many choose pharmacological agents to decrease and diminish pain, only finding a temporary solution, with potentially harmful side effects. Although many of the injured will continue to avoid exercise, falsely believing it will exacerbate the situation. As the number of individuals diagnosed with these conditions increases, so does the demand for specialized fitness professionals with advanced knowledge, practical skills, and up-to-date education. These specialized fitness professionals can make all the difference by focusing their unique skill set on helping exercisers perform their preferred fitness activities without exacerbating injury or pain.

There is a significant need for a higher-level of educated fitness professionals to understand how to work safely and more closely with injured clients. The Orthopedic Fitness Specialist online course will prepare you to deliver individualized and appropriate fitness programming for the unique needs of individuals living with joint pain and injury. (Scroll down to ‘Description’ below for lesson overview and more info).

Course Length: 20 hours

Course Authors: Irv Rubenstein, PhD and Christine Conti, M.Ed

MedFit Network (MFN) Membership
This course includes a free trial of a professional MFN membership. This offer is valid for new members only, and instructions for creating your MFN account will be sent after course purchase. Already a member? Existing MFN members are not eligible to receive a free trial, but do receive a discounted price on MedFit Classroom courses. Check your MFN account for details or contact ivy@medfitnetwork.org.

Payment plan available for purchases of $399 or more. (3-payment plan. Start for only 1/3 down at time of purchase.)


More About the Course

Click here to view the full lesson overview (PDF).

A MedFit Orthopedic Fitness Specialist can act by combining their foundational fitness knowledge with the Orthopedic Fitness Specialist course to guide clients into pain-free, joint movement. By learning to safely train “around the issues,” fitness professionals can adhere to physicians’ orders and other guidelines; work cooperatively with the medical care team for acute injuries and be prepared to offer sound training for those who may have chronic, joint injuries, limitations, or pain.

The MedFit Orthopedic Fitness Specialist would be competent working with clients whose injuries have not been examined by a medical professional by understanding the general condition, observing the signs of trauma or underlying structural pathology, understand when to refer, and how to follow-up.

This course is designed to educate the fitness professional on the communication skills and rapport building necessary to interact as a respected fitness professional amongst the respected medical community. Medical professionals will gain a better understanding of the role of the specialized fitness professional, and how their unique skill set can be utilized. 

Important goals of this course include:

  • This course will effectively and competently prepare the MedFit Orthopedic Fitness Specialist to cooperatively collaborate with a medical care team on follow-up post- surgical career, procedural follow-up, exiting physical therapy, or who want to begin or re-enter a fitness program.
  • Establish a connection between the medical community and the educated fitness professional:
    • Learn to build relationships based on a mutual understanding. 
    • Understand the fitness professionals and the medical professional’s skill set and role.
    • Gain mutual respect, develop trust and build rapport.
    • Learn best practices for each professional
  • Gain skills in appropriate exercise selection per joint to address restrictions and tightness.
  • Learn the science behind fascia and its influence through the sling system and fascial lines to improve or enhance movement.
  • Include important strength exercises that have been neglected.
  • Examine lost joint range of motion and how to obtain it.

Course Delivery and Assessment

This is an online, self-paced course; all materials are delivered digitally. This course is delivered through a variety of digital mediums, including lectures, visual media, reading assignments, video assignments, quizzes, interviews, case studies. Comprehension of the material will be measured via a mandatory competency assessment requiring a minimum of 80% correct responses.


The completion of this specialization course, and the passing of its corresponding competency assessment, leads to a Certificate of Specialization. All of the online courses on MedFit Classroom which lead to a Certificate of Specialization are considered advanced level education, and are meant to be taken by fitness professionals who have previously acquired education and experience as a professional within the health and fitness industry. In order to receive the Certificate of Specialization, upon completion of this course you will be asked to provide proof of the following:

  1. Evidence of a bachelor’s or master’s degree in fitness or health related field AND/OR possess a certification from a nationally-recognized certification, NCCA or ANSI/ISO accredited program AND
  2. Evidence of professional liability insurance.

*If you do not meet the requirements for a Certificate of Specialization, you can request a Certificate of Completion.

Renewal of Specialization

This Certificate of Specialization will be considered valid for a period of two years. To keep the certificate current, you must complete 10 hours of continuing education, on relevant subject matter, and formally renew the certificate prior to the date of its expiration. As with many certifications and specializations in our field, professionals should anticipate some costs to continuing education and renewal of this certificate.

MedFit Classroom CEUs

The Orthopedic Fitness Specialist course provides 10 CEUs toward renewal of MedFit Classroom fitness specializations.

Other Continuing Education Credits

This course is approved for:

  • 4 CECs from canfitpro
  • 20 CEUs from ISSA
  • 1.9 CEUs from NASM.

Pending credit approval by ACE and NSCA. If you finish the course before approval is granted, or you have a certifying body not listed, MedFit Classroom can help you petition for credit.

About the Course Authors

Dr. Irv Rubenstein graduated Vanderbilt-Peabody in 1988 with a PhD in exercise science, having already co-founded STEPS, Inc. two years earlier. One of his goals was to foster the evolution of the then-fledgling field of personal training into a viable and mature profession.

He was certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) in 1989, the first such certification in personal training, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-1992) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM -1992) as a Health/Fitness Instructor. He also initiated the ACSM special interest group, Strength and Conditioning Specialties, in 2003 and served as its co-chair for the first three years.

As a writer and speaker, Dr. Irv has earned a national reputation as one who can answer the hard questions about exercise and fitness – not just the “how” but the “why”. He co-authored a chapter in the first American Council on Exercise (ACE) Manual of Personal Training (1991), and a similar chapter in The Business of Personal Training by Scott 0. Roberts (1996). He also created a software-based exercise kit, and edited three Exercise Ideas books for Visual Health Information, a leading fitness resource company. In the mid-1990’s, he started teaching around the country for Exercise ETC, Inc., an organization that has since become the premier provider of continuing education credits for all the major certification boards in the field of exercise training. He was also the original provider of research article synopses for Exercise ETC’s FITBITSwebsite for fitness professionals who are hungry for facts, not fiction.

Dr. Irv’s certification from the American Academy of Health, Fitness, and Rehabilitation Professionals as a Post-Rehabilitation Specialist is just one of the many ways he stays current on the issues that he and most trainers face. Dr. Irv also studies the latest measures of pre-hab – how to train to avoid injury. He has consolidated this information into an exercise routine to condition the knees and low back using medicine and stability balls. Thus was born Dr. Irv’s class and exercise video – Rock, Roll, ‘n Reggae – that has been taught around the country, including at the renowned Canyon Ranch in Tucson. in addition, he presented a lecture on the challenges of weight loss via exercise at the first Lifestyle Intervention conference in September 2011 titled “The Weighting Game: Why It’s so Hard to Beat the House”. Dr. Irv has also volunteered his time and expertise to benefit the community at large. He is a founding member and current board member of the Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee and co-chairs its Education Committee. He was a presenter at the 2007 EDCT Annual Forum on the positive role of resistance exercise in the treatment of anorexia. Dr. Irv is also a former board member of the Middle Tennessee Arthritis Foundation.

Dr. Irv was one of the finalists for the 2011 ACE/IDEA Personal Trainers to Watch List. He was also a 2019 nominee for MedFit Professional of the Year.

Learn more about his studio Steps Fitness at their website, stepsfitness.com

Christine Conti is a mother of two who understands the importance of movement as medicine at the physical and cognitive levels. As a 20-year veteran in the fitness industry, Christine has created fitness programs and educated fitness and medical professionals to implement safe and effective exercise programs for all fitness levels.

This former investment banker, secondary teacher, and all-American collegiate athlete has also been battling a severe autoimmune disease for the past decade.  Through proper exercise, nutrition, and mindset practices she has been able to reduce symptoms and decrease dependency on medications. Her quest for knowledge and passion to help others live more quality lives has led to her vast knowledge base for working with arthritic populations and beyond. Christine currently serves as an international speaker, educator, and consultant for the medical and fitness industry around the world.

Christine is the author of the Arthritis Fitness Specialist course and co-author of Eating Disorders: What Fitness Professionals Need to Know for MedFit Classroom. Additionally, Christine is the creator of Let’s FACE It Together™ Facial Fitness and Rehabilitation. This program and certification help reduce signs of aging, prolong onset of disease, and rehabilitate injuries. Christine also co-founded FallPROOF™, a fall prevention and trivia program and certification that combines both fall risk trivia and safe and effective movement to reduce falls. She is the author of Split-Second Courage: What if Your Fears Were the Key to Your Dreams?

Christine serves as the CEO of Conti Fitness & Wellness, an online resource for education and counselling to create positive changes through physical and emotional practices and the co-host of Two Fit Crazies and a Microphone podcast and owner of TFC Podcast Productions LLC. These platforms provide free and unbiased information from top experts about fitness, nutrition, and more! This 2x Ironman, 100 mile finisher, and ultra-marathoner has no plans of slowing down!