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Restore women's right to exercise:
Become a trauma-informed fitness instructor

Article written in partnership with HFE



Regular exercise and physical activity has an extensive range of physical and mental benefits and for this reason alone, it should be accessible to all. Sadly, this is not always the case, especially for women that have experienced significant social disadvantage and hardship. It is true that women do face different and additional barriers to men when it comes to exercise, including concerns about safety, trauma, mental health and poverty to name just a few.


In order to combat these and to inspire more women to become more physically active, theMovement aspires to restore the right to exercise for all women by offering safe and inclusive movement sessions that are delivered by trauma-informed instructors throughout London.


Trauma-informed instructors can assist women in a variety of ways, including helping them to reclaim their bodies following sexual exploitation, create a safe space for trans + adults to exercise, help impoverished women access facilities, assist those suffering from adverse mental health conditions and support women’s overall journey to recovery. With personal trainers who understand trauma, disadvantaged women can start to feel safer and better supported as they strive towards achieving their personal health and fitness goals.


How to help


Although there are a vast number of fitness professionals throughout the UK, not many are ‘trauma-informed’, which can present additional obstacles for women to overcome when they want to access health and fitness facilities. This is precisely why we are now offering a CIMSPA-accredited CPD course to fitness professionals that want to make a difference in this area. Our course, "A Trauma Informed Approach to Exercise Provision", helps instructors become more aware and certified in supporting trauma-affected clients. The course will also cover topics such as safeguarding and referral options when working with disadvantaged women.


What do I need to do?


In order to qualify for the course, you’ll need to hold a level 2 (or above) qualification in a fitness-related discipline. We also require a fitness qualification accredited by CIMSPA. 

Some examples of these include: 


  • Level 2 Fitness Instructing

  • Level 2 Exercise to Music

  • Level 3 Personal Trainer

  • Level 3 Yoga

  • Level 3 Pilates qualification


Our supporters at HFE offer a number of courses which can help kickstart your career as a fitness professional, enabling you to access our CPD course and start making a difference in the lives of women affected by trauma.


A good place to start is the Level 2 Gym Instructor course or the Level 2 Exercise to Music qualification offered by HFE. These courses offer the basic knowledge for anyone wanting to become qualified fitness instructor. From there, it’s the possible to progress to a personal training course, or explore alternative group exercise pathways with a yoga teacher training programme or a Pilates instructor course

How can I get involved with theMovement charity?


As well as our training courses, we invite fitness professionals who are qualified in a level 3 discipline to join our team of volunteer instructors to support trauma-affected women in their fitness journey. By offering safe and supportive trauma-informed sessions, you’ll help women to grow their confidence and access health and fitness facilities that they may not otherwise have been able to.




Becoming a trauma-informed fitness instructor can help improve the lives of countless women affected by trauma and other disadvantages. If you are passionate about helping women and want to make a difference, jump-start your career in fitness to provide a safe and inclusive space for all women. 

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