Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

A Framework for Exercise Prescription

Anemaet, Wendy K. PT, PhD, GCS, CWS, GTC, COS-C; Hammerich, Amy Stone PhD, DPT, PT

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: April/June 2014 - Volume 30 - Issue 2 - p 79–101
doi: 10.1097/TGR.0000000000000011
Therapeutic Exercise

Exercise prescription is an important part of clinical decision making for rehabilitation professionals. Evidence-based practice encourages rehabilitation professionals to have strong rationale based on the current literature for all elements of practice including therapeutic exercise. Prescribing what “has seemed to work in the past” or “what seems right” may accomplish some positive outcomes for patients; however, using sound prescription principles from current research more consistently produces optimal outcomes. This article presents a framework for exercise prescription based on levels or phases. These include Tissue Healing, Mobility, Performance Initiation, Stability, Motor Control, Performance Improvement, Advanced Coordination, Agility, and Skill. Available research is used to substantiate the framework and guide the rehabilitation professional's decision-making process when prescribing exercise.

Regis University, School of Physical Therapy, Denver, Colorado.

Correspondence: Wendy K. Anemaet, PT, PhD, GCS, CWS, GTC, COS-C, School of Physical Therapy, Regis University, 3333 Regis Blvd, G-4, Denver, CO 80221 (

The authors of this study have no known conflicts of interest with the submission of this work.

© 2014Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins