Motion Mechanic Sports Therapy Certificate Program

Students of the Motion Mechanic Sports Therapy Certificate Program will learn to apply the fundamentals of kinesiology, biomechanics, and manual therapy techniques as they relate to human movement. This course will help you to understand the biomechanics of human movement and how to correctly identify movement deficiencies, how load is shifted throughout the body, and how to address those deficiencies from a manual therapy and exercise prescription standpoint. This is the first level certification in a 3-Part Clinical Movement Specialist certification program.

For more details please contact Admissions at (800) 770-9893 ext 1 or

chris nissler clinical movement specialist

Course Instructor: Chris Nissler - Clinical Movement Specialist

Chris’s area of expertise, called musculoskeletal reconditioning, focuses on the assessment, treatment, and conditioning of of athletes with acute and chronic injuries and movement deficiencies. Through years of education and collaboration with physicians, surgeons, therapists, and chiropractors, Chris is widely regarded as a muscle expert. He brings a unique combination of skills in both reconditioning and rehabilitation, but also as a strength coach.

Chris’ patients include athletes from the NFL, NBA, NHL, Olympians, and Professional Mixed Martial Arts fighters. While Chris works with patients from all walks of life, his passion is working with those who have a sport or activity they have a passion for; whether recreationally or competitively.

Chris attended the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington where he got his degree in Exercise Science and did his masters work in Biomechanics and Physical Therapy at the University of Oregon and MBA in Healthcare at George Washington University. He is a Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is a Licensed Massage Therapist.

In addition, he also has certifications in Applied Functional Science (Gray Institute), Functional Movement Screening/Assessment (FMS/SFMA, RockTape, Graston, Active Release Techniques (ART) and in musculoskeletal laser. Chris is a Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) practitioner; which he utilizes along with other manual therapy techniques to maximize the contractile efficiency and movement potential in his patients. Chris was recently selected as one of two fellows out of 500 applicants worldwide into a very prestigious fellowship program in performance based therapy and reconditioning.

Course Outline:

  • Applied Anatomy and Biomechanics in Motion
  • Muscle Structure and Function
  • Movement Assessment and Posture Screening
  • Manual Muscle Testing and Treatment of the Lower Lim
  • Manual Muscle Testing and Treatment of the Upper Limb
  • Manual Muscle Testing and Treatment of the Trunk
  • Manual Muscle Testing and Treatment of the Cervical Spine
  • Manual Muscle Testing and Treatment of the Hand, Wrist and Forearm
  • Manual Muscle Testing and Treatment of the Foot and Ankle
  • Corrective Exercise Prescription
  • Putting it All Together

Massage therapists with the Motion Mechanic Certification can increase earnings through an expanded scope of practice. The skills and techniques acquired give therapists the confidence, skill and knowledge to work with athletes in sports related settings. Our certification offers a unique blend of advanced assessment and dynamic rehabilitative techniques geared toward improving mobility and increasing performance. It enables massage therapists to better facilitate healthy human movement through corrective exercise. Certified Motion Mechanics can perform more treatments in a day because the system of assessment and techniques allows for more efficient and effective treatments that reduce the strain on a massage therapist’s body.

Details and FAQ

The instructor is a PT and strength coach, How does this program apply to a massage therapist?

There is a tremendous amount of crossover between PT and massage therapy, but I realized after hearing this question a few times that I didn’t make it clear that I am a massage therapist as well and I actually wrote this course for CRSMT specifically for massage therapists. More importantly, I would argue that learning to give a massage is significantly less difficult than learning to evaluate and assess your clients’ posture, asymmetries, and tissue quality. Developing your “eye” and “feel” (in terms of tissue identification and differentiation through palpation) takes years and is only honed through lots and lots of practice. One of the things I felt was severely lacking when I was in massage school (not at CRSMT) was that we focused almost exclusively on the body at rest or in static standing postures; yet our bodies are designed to MOVE! Our clients are far more likely to experience pain during movement than they are at rest, and I can’t say that I see to many injuries that occur without movement. So why aren’t we assessing the quality of our clients’ movement? And wouldn’t evaluating our clients’ movement help us to more easily identify the source of their dysfunction rather than focusing solely on the manifestation of their symptoms?


Whether you’re working with a world-class triathlete, a 35-year-old mother of two, or a 70 year old patient with a hip replacement, watching them move and being able to assess their movement and apply it to your treatment will make you a better clinician, and will allow you to get better outcomes and affect lasting change in their bodies.

What exactly will I learn in the Motion Mechanic Program?

The Motion Mechanic program is designed to raise your level of competency that far exceeds that of most massage therapists….lots of physical therapists too!  The entire program was designed to develop your skills in 3 primary areas:


  1. How We Move – We will take your understanding of anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics (kinesiology) to a whole new level. We will discuss structure, function, & dissect their roles in the skeletal, muscular, fascial and nervous systems at deep level. We cannot truly evaluate how our clients move if we do not understand how all of these systems interact. This is the foundation of the Motion Mechanic program.
  2. Movement Quality & Injury – How do we assess movement quality? During this course you will learn multiple movement and posture screening techniques. Some are very well known assessment techniques like the Functional Movement Screen, some are the most basic of exercises. Some of our screening techniques will utilize a state-of-the-art 3D motion analysis system, some will involve just recording video on your cell phone, but more importantly we will develop your “eye.” The ONLY way to do this is to watch people move in as many ways and as often as possible. Then we’re going to learn how to interpret these assessments, and how to take that information and consider the underlying structures and develop a treatment plan. We’ll discuss common injuries throughout the body, movement dysfunctions that lead to or develop as a result of these injuries and what happens in the injury and injury rehabilitation process. We’ll discuss pain in many different contexts; including the most cutting edge pain research being conducted today. (Find the TED talk by Lorimer Mosely, who is considered to be the preeminent expert on pain, if you want to have your mind blown!!) Finally, we’ll discuss performance. Whether performance means competition in sport, or picking up your toddler off the floor, how do we maximize our performance in our activities of daily living?
  3. Intervention – Now that we’ve assessed our clients, what do we do about it? Utilizing the assessment techniques you learned, how do you translate that information and treat accordingly. You will learn some tried and true sports massage techniques while also learning the techniques I’ve developed personally, along with many others I’ve learned from and developed with some of my truly brilliant and talented colleagues. I’ve always said though, treating on the table only has ONE purpose: to decrease pain and/or improve function so my patients can safely and efficiently execute the exercises that will ultimately “treat” their problem. It is through exercise that we can affect meaningful, permanent change on our clients. You’ll learn many corrective exercises, dynamic stretches, isometrics and many other activation exercises.

What's the daily schedule like?

Some days will begin at 7:00AM and some will begin at 8:00AM. We will NEVER sit in lectures all day.  We will practice manual muscle testing and manual therapy techniques every day.  We will engage in some sort of corrective exercise every day.

Here is a sample of one of the days that begins at 8:00AM:

8:00 am – 8:50 am – Corrective Exercises for the Hip 1 (Practical)
9:00 am – 9:50 am – Intro & Lecture – Reconditioning: A performance based response to injury
10:00 am – 10:50 am – Posture Screen (Practical) – Sight/manual
11:00 am – 12:00 pm   Lecture – Landing Mechanics in Injury Prevention & Performance Rehabilitation
12:00 pm – 1 pm     Lunch
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm  Lecture – Muscle Structure & Function 1 – Elements of muscle structure, composition of muscle fiber, the contractile unit, the motor unit, muscle architecture, muscle connective tissue
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm  Lecture & Practical – Hip & Lower Extremity 1: Structure/Function of hip, musculature, active range of motion testing testing, manual muscle testing -and manual therapy techniques for hip and upper leg. Flexion & Extension

What dates is the program offered?

100 Hour Motion Mechanic Sports Therapy Certificate Program: November 27th – December 14th, 2017

100 Hour Motion Mechanic Sports Therapy Certificate Program: May 7th – May 28th, 2018

How much does it cost?

100 Hour Complete Program

On Campus, Shared Accommodations: $3400

Off Campus: $2675

What is included?

-100 Hours NCBTMB Approved CEUs
-Free Airport Transfer
-On-campus accommodations in our Oasis Villas
-Free Wifi
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