I have been certified through the NASM since 1999. When I became certified through them it was just before they revamped their curriculum and got all corrective phase by phase approach on us.
It is good information and you are not off the mark with thinking they are overcomplicating things. They certainly are overcomplicating some things in there approach. The thing you need to keep in mind is no absolutes when it comes to certifications.
Like I said there is some good information they provide, however, if you follow their protocol step by step I am confident you won’t get much progress in the arena your client will want.
You aren’t going to fix everyone to a perfect state. Hell, some of the protocols the NASM apply elite level athletes couldn’t even pass and yet they operate at a very high level of function.
You’ll be training the general public more than likely. Will they be fucked up with their posture: yeah, will they need work on stability and balance, yeah, will they need more mobility and flexibility, yeah, will they need better tissue health, yeah.
BUT…don’t fall into the prescription of all these exercises such as one legged ipsilateral or contralateral overhead press as the end all and be all. If you can get your client to do the basics properly and control their body the way need to then that is balance and stability in the joints right there.
Get someone squatting with good pelvic alignment and proper back positioning without their hips rotating…they got some stability as far as I am concerned. Want to test and see if they have balance? Think about this: many times balance isn’t about balance, it’s about the strength of the muscles surrounding the joint and the individuals ability to keep that joint in a specific position whilst movin through planes.
Two great examples of balance testing: 1) have someone stand with feet shoulder width/hip width and raise one leg to hip height. Can they hold that leg up there for 30" or more and with even hips? Can they switch positions of their legs with their arms as if they were sprinting without deviations? Great, they have balance, move on.
2)a bit more advanced: athletic stance and put them in a lunge position then have them perform a lateral leap as if they were skating and stick the landing single leg. Watch their body and the joints in relation to each other. the angle of the ankle & shin? does the knee cave? relationship of glute height to knee height and torso angle? if they were able to stabilize the forces from a lateral push then they have balance from a lateral aspect. great move on, come back to it, include it in the program every now and then for re-testing to make sure they havnen’t lost it.
While you are addressing their postural concerns, decreasing their pain, etc. etc. they are expecting to be losing fat, gaining muscle, so give them the best of both worlds.
So many times I have seen the correctional approach junkies preach and preach about how great their programs are and yet their client is weak as a 6th grader and their athletes get their ass’s handed to them on whatever field of play cos they don’t get trained in the best of both world’s.
Good luck man. Take the test, pass, apply what works and don’t be afraid to venture into the hotel of practicality ad try shit on your own.