Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy

On March 13, 2015, locally owned and operated Work Systems Rehab & Fitness changed its name to Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy. While some may consider announcing a change of this significance on Friday the 13th a bad omen, Kinetic Edge looks forward to the opportunities this new names brings.

“We changed our name because the name we started with 16 years ago no longer fully represented our organization,” stated CEO Troy Vander Molen, PT, DPT. “It resonated well with our work injury clients but missed the mark with others we serve. Kinetic Edge more wholly communicates the variety of proven services we offer that help people move better, feel better, and function better.”

The change of their name does not represent a seismic shift in their focus as an organization, but it does represent a refined vision and direction. Kinetic Edge will continue to focus on work injury management and prevention, but their name better communicates their expertise in physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, pediatric therapy, sports medicine, and medical fitness. The common denominator in all of their services is movement, which led to the selection of their new name, Kinetic Edge.

“Our solutions may not always be quick fixes, but they do provide a long term result that help people thrive and excel,” commented Pella Clinic Manager Elise Spronk, MS, OTR/L. “What many people don’t realize is that our services can be utilized with or without a referral, so the choice is really up to you.”

The team at Kinetic Edge is passionate about movement. They believe if people move better, they also feel and function better. The friendly and knowledgeable movement experts at Kinetic Edge help clients rediscover their healthier, happier, and hope-filled lives.

“At Kinetic Edge, we’re starting a movement and inviting others to join in,” said Vander Molen. “This movement is both literal and figurative. Movement helps people feel and function better physically, but this movement is also about not being complacent with your current reality.”

In addition to physical therapy services, Kinetic Edge in Pella offers occupational therapy, pediatric therapy, athletic training, ASTYM treatments, and a medically oriented gym. Kinetic Edge has five offices across Southeast Iowa, including offices in Pella, Des Moines, Oskaloosa, Newton, and Ames.

Want to try Kinetic Edge for free? Then call 515-309-4706 today to schedule a no-obligation, Kinetic Screen.

40 Challenge

My 40th birthday is coming up in a few weeks.  As I anticipate this milestone in life, I am excited about the new opportunities ahead. God has blessed me so much in life already, and I am looking forward to the next chapter.

One very important aspect of my life is health promotion. I am contemplating what I can do as I turn 40 to encourage others with their health.  For the past 15 years I have had a simple goal of running my years in minutes on my birthday.  At age 25 that was pretty simple, usually cold in the middle of December, but not too hard to pull off.  In the past few years I have realized that if I want to keep this goal up, I am going to have to start focusing my training for the big day.

For this birthday with a zero I am stepping it up and planning on a 40 40 40 challenge: 40 lap swim, 40 minute run, and 40 mile (or kilometer or minute depending on the weather) bike ride.

I would like to invite anyone interested in doing the 40 minute run with me to come to our Des Moines clinic at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, December 17.  We will do an out and back course along the riverwalk trail towards Gray’s Lake.

If running isn’t your thing, I challenge you to find something of 40 that you can do for your health.  Here are some ideas:

  • Walk 40 minutes over lunch
  • Climb 40 stairs at home or work
  • Workout at the gym for 40 minutes
  • Swim 40 lengths of the pool
  • Go to bed 40 minutes earlier
  • Eat 40 fewer calories each meal
  • Drink 40 extra ounces of water

Don’t wait till 2015 to commit to your health.  It is a journey that starts now!

40 Challenge Birthday Run details:

Where: Work Systems Rehab & Fitness – Des Moines

When: Wednesday, December 17 at noon

Who: Anyone interested in committing to a 40 minute run with a brand new 40 year old!

National Physical Therapy Month

October is National Physical Therapy Month.  This year’s theme is ‘Top Myths about Physical Therapy’.

One myth regarding physical therapy is that a referral is needed to access and get insurance coverage for physical therapy services.  The truth is that in Iowa most insurance companies do not require a referral to provide benefits for physical therapy.

Physical Therapists at Work Systems Rehab & Fitness accept patients with and without referrals.  If you have a referral from your doctor for physical therapy, we want to be your resource for your physical therapy needs.  If you do not have a referral and want the expertise of a physical therapist for your pain or injury, we are ready to help you with your therapy issues as well.

In situations where patients do not have a referral, we communicate your health information with your primary provider at your request.  Also if we assess the need to refer you to another provider, we will make that referral.

In honor of National Physical Therapy Month, the Des Moines clinic will be hosting a Healthiest State Initiative walk on Wednesday, October 8 at noon at our clinic.  Come join us for a 2 mile walk on the downtown Des Moines bike trails. Bring your walking shoes and join the fun!


Here are a few PT month resources:

National Physical Therapy Month –

Healthiest State Initiative -   

Learn & Run Series

Learn & Run Series – 2014

Brought to you by Work Systems Rehab & Fitness and The Body Project!

Come for a time of learning and running with our team of physical therapists and running coaches.

The series will take place one Tuesday night a month at 6:00pm, June through September.  There will be a brief session on a monthly topic followed by a 4 mile run on the downtown riverwalk, led by our team of professionals.

There is no cost to attend the events. Donations will be accepted for our monthly Give Well program charity.

All runners are welcome to attend!

June 17Secrets to Distance Running Success – Tim Ives, CSCS – Des Moines Clinic (516 3rd Street, Suite 100) – Charity is Team in Training

July 15 – Improving your Running Form – Todd Schemper, PT, DPT, OCS – Des Moines Clinic – Charity is Pedal For Life

August 14 Improving your Running Form Todd Schemper, PT, DPT, OCS Grinnell  Event recently added! 

August 26 – Running 201: Tips for Performance & Prevention Todd Schemper, PT, DPT, OCS – Des Moines Clinic – Charity is Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa – (Downtown Chamber Member University event)

September 16 – Therapeutic Dry Needling – Tim Vander Wilt, PT, ATC, CSCS – Ames Clinic (4700 Mortensen Road, Suite 101) – Charity is Team in Training

Hope to see you at the 2014 Learn & Run Series!

Work Systems Rehab & Fitness Announces Changes to Support Growth and New Business Developments

Pella, IA – Locally-owned Work Systems Rehab & Fitness, P.C. (Work Systems) is pleased to announce some important developments that will enable them and their collaborative business partners to best fulfill their mission to empower individuals with health solutions that enable them to get well and stay well.

As of January 1, 2014, Work Systems will sell its fitness assets to a new partnership group led by Mark Blankespoor, PT, DPT. This group, Pella Recreation Center (PRC), will continue to offer health, wellness and fitness services to residents in and around Pella, Iowa, the home of Work Systems’ corporate headquarters.

“The development of a new business, Pella Recreation Center,” said PRC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Blankespoor, “is exciting because it will allow other non-medical partners to invest in the strong fitness foundation that Work Systems has worked hard to develop over the last 11 years. The new business will be positioned to continue our great service that focuses on fun and effective programming for the entire family. It will also help us advance our popular group personal training programming through CrossFit 424, as well as our athletic development programming through an alignment with Game On Performance.  The people we’re bringing on are the most important advancement, but the new building will be essential to help us provide sport-related programming that is currently not available in the town of Pella.”

The new 25,000 square foot building is set to open in the spring of 2014, says Blankespoor, and will have a large area covered by field turf, so sports programming and competitions will be offered for participants in all turf sports like baseball, soccer, and football. “The new space will be great for the community, but it will also be a huge asset to the patients we serve with physical therapy and occupational therapy needs,” says Troy Vander Molen, PT, DPT, the CEO & Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Work Systems. “We’re thrilled to be able to serve people in a state-of-the-art facility that allows us to develop functional health solutions for our clients with all types of orthopedic, musculoskeletal conditions.”

In the process of this transaction, Work Systems is also purchasing from Blankespoor the shares he has held in Work Systems. Blankespoor, Work Systems’ founder, has been the majority shareholder of Work Systems since its inception December of 1998. This transaction will allow Blankespoor to continue to focus on his passion areas of health coaching and consulting for individuals and businesses. “It has been an exciting ride over the past 15 years, and I’m eager to hand over the reins of the rehab business to an excellent team of therapists with whom I’ve partnered for the past decade.”

While the change seems significant, Vander Molen states that he expects the transition to occur without a hitch. “We will miss working hand-in-hand with Mark on a daily basis. He has been a mentor to all of us and has prepared us well for this new chapter in the life of Work Systems. However, we are happy that he will continue to be a friend of the business by providing support and assistance as a continued consultant to our practice well into the future.”

There will be some additional business restructuring for Work Systems over the next few months, but business will continue as normal for our staff and clients. In fact, these developments will occur without anyone’s jobs being affected. Blankespoor and Vander Molen expect that this will increase the need for staff and result in job growth as each business grows.

For more information, you may contact Vander Molen at Work Systems (641-621-0230) or Blankespoor at Pella Recreation Center (641-628-4622).

About Work Systems Rehab & Fitness

Work Systems is a leading provider of physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, and work injury management and prevention services throughout the state of Iowa. It was founded in 1998 by Mark Blankespoor, PT, DPT, and over time much business growth has occurred.

It originally provided functional testing and work injury management and prevention consultative services, and it opened its first outpatient therapy practice, in Pella, in 2002 when it opened its doors to people with all types of musculoskeletal pain and injuries. In 2003, Work Systems purchased Bos Landen Athletic Club (dba Work Systems Fitness), and in 2004 it combined the rehab and fitness operations into one business (Work Systems Rehab & Fitness) and one location, a 34,000 square foot facility in Pella. It has opened additional rehab clinics in Des Moines (2003), Oskaloosa (2006), Newton (2007), and Ames (2012), and it continues to provide functional testing and injury prevention and management consultative services to businesses throughout the state of Iowa and beyond.

Work Systems is currently co-owned by Troy Vander Molen, PT, DPT (CEO/CFO), Todd Schemper, PT, DPT (COO), Carol Kelderman, PT, DPT, Elise Spronk, OTR/L, and Melissa Hansen, PT, DPT. Please contact us at any of our convenient locations:

  • PELLA – 308 SE 9th Street, Suite 200, Pella, Iowa 50219 ● (641) 621-0230
  • DES MOINES – 516 3rd Street, Suite 100, Des Moines, Iowa ● (515) 309-4706
  • OSKALOOSA – 1417 A Avenue E, Suite 200, Oskaloosa, Iowa 52577 ● (641) 676-3535
  • NEWTON – 321 E 3rd St N, Newton, Iowa 50208 ● (641) 791-9675
  • AMES – 4700 Mortensen Road, Suite 101, Ames Iowa 50010 ● (515) 337-1037

About Pella Recreation Center

Pella Recreation Center is owned by Mark Blankespoor, PT, DPT, Darren McGriff, Holly Toom, Kevin Carlson and Kelly Carlson.  CrossFit 424 (Kevin and Kelly Carlson) and Game On Performance (Brad Rolffs and Eric Van Wyngarden) are key programming partners with PRC.

By Troy Vander Molen, PT, DPT

December 30, 2013

Tim Ives - Running Coach and Personal Trainer

We would like to officially welcome Tim Ives, CSCS to our Des Moines location.  Tim is a personal trainer and running coach that has moved his business, The Body Project, into a suite adjoining our space at 516 3rd Street, downtown Des Moines.  Tim most recently ran his company out of the Orange Planet in Pleasant Hill.

Here is some info on Tim to help you get to know him better.

Why did you choose personal training and coaching as a profession?

I actually fell into personal training as a profession because it was the only job I was offered right out of college! I had always planned to enter the coaching profession and eventually learned how closely related coaching and personal training are. When I started personal training I decided to include the coaching of distance runners. Through a client of mine I was introduced to Dowling Catholic High School and was eventually offered the job as head boys cross country coach in 2007.

I chose the exercise and sports profession to use my gifts to improve the lives and welfare of others, whether that meant losing weight, building muscle or running faster.

What would you say defines your approach to training and coaching?

My approach to training and coaching includes two very important components: planning and accountability. Every exerciser or athlete needs a proper plan to execute in order to reach a goal. I’ve also learned that a good plan doesn’t mean much without accountability. Therefore, I determine with every client I meet that they are going to receive a customized training plan while at the same time being held in close accountability to that plan.

How have you advanced your knowledge in your profession? 

I’ve advanced my knowledge in my profession in several ways. One, I attained the CSCS credential from the NSCA as a means to begin coaching speed, strength and conditioning to athletes in a team setting. Two, I attend coaching clinics 1-2x year to learn from more experienced coaches and trainers. Finally, I’m convinced my clients have taught me as much as any professional. As a trainer for the past 10 years I have met with a wide variety of clients and athletes. They have taught me a lot in terms of practical application of the theoretical knowledge I’ve attained from textbooks and clinics.

Where did you go to college? 

I attended Dordt College

Share about your family. 

I am married to Mandy and we recently celebrated our 10-year anniversary. We have four children: Isaiah (7 yrs.), Lydia (5), Israel (2) and Eden (due in March 2014).

What are your hobbies/interests? 

I continue to run somewhat competitively. I recently completed my 8th marathon and plan to run the Boston Marathon next April, 2014. I am actively involved in my church and have served as a deacon for the past year.

For info on Tim and The Body Project go to


Work Healthy: Optimize Your Office Space

More than 77,000 people work downtown Des Moines.  Many of them sit 8 hours or more per day.  Poor office ergonomics will not only affect your posture alignment, but it will also decreased your metabolism, leading to weight gain and heart disease.

Join us on Wednesday, October 23rd from 4-6pm at Work Systems Rehab & Fitness - Des Moines and learn how to optimize your health at your personal office space.

Come learn strategies to prevent aches, pains, and weight gain while working at your desk.  Learn stretches, exercises, and information to help you in your office space.  Healthy snacks and refreshments will be served.

Join in on Astym, cold laser, and posture lab demos during this open house.  Those who attend will be eligible for door prizes.

Help us celebrate National Physical Therapy Month!

National Physical Therapy Month

October is National Physical Therapy Month.  Each year the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) celebrates this event by educating people about the profession of Physical Therapy.


Physical Therapy is a profession that focuses on restoring the movement and function of our patients.  Physical Therapists are experts in musculoskeletal and neuromuscular problems.  Injury prevention and movement assessment are key components for everyday practice.  Physical Therapists strive to promote optimal health and quality of life for our patients.

PT’s and PTA’s

Physical Therapists, along with Physical Therapist Assistants, are graduates from accredited programs and licensed by passing a national board exam.  The entry level of education for a Physical Therapist (PT) is now at a Clinical Doctorate degree level.  A Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) must receive an Associate of Arts Degree to be eligible to sit for the licensure exam.

Practice Settings

Professionals in this branch of health care are active in a variety of settings.  Therapists practice in outpatient clinics, hospitals, private practices, specialty clinics, acute care, schools, nursing homes, and industry.  Other areas include home health, universities, sports facilities, pediatric centers, research, and fitness centers.


Physical Therapy covers many types of services.  The core elements of the profession include examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention.  Therapists work with patients experiencing back, neck, shoulder and arm pain, and hip, knee, and foot problems.  They help stroke victims, injured athletes, those with work injuries, car accident patients, post surgical patients, elderly with balance problems, disabled children, and many more.


The approach that we take focuses on patient empowerment, teaching the patient what he/she can do to get better.  Our role is to guide our patients in learning what lifestyle changes may need to be made, whether that deals with posture, exercise, ergonomics, balance, etc.  Goals are set for each patient as a way to direct rehab and chart progress.  Hands on techniques, specific exercises, and education are the main interventions in Physical Therapy.  Modalities, such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, laser, ice, and heat may also be used, if needed, to
help with tissue healing.

Direct Access

With most private health insurance plans in Iowa, patients can see a Physical Therapist with or without a referral, and Physical Therapy services will be covered per the plan terms.  If you do have a referral for Physical Therapy you have the right to choose where you want to go for your treatment.

Move Forward

Make October a great month by committing to your health and activity.  Consider meeting with a Physical Therapist to explore ways you can work on your injury prevention, injury treatment, and health promotion needs. See Move Forward PT for more information on Physical Therapy.

Effective Recovery

On September 8th I had the opportunity to volunteer as a physical therapist in the medical tent at Ironman Wisconsin. My shift was filled with helping athletes with mainly muscle and joint issues after their day of swimming, biking and running. There are many factors involved with activity recovery, including proper hydration and nutrition.  Here are some key concepts regarding effective recovery that I shared with the triathletes in Madison.


Proper breathing is not only important during exercise, but also with recovery.  Deep diaphragmatic breathing, inhaling through your nose and out with your mouth, is more optimal than shallow breathing with your mouth and accessory neck muscles.  Diaphragmatic breathing helps with relaxation after activity and with effective post activity stretching. One way to implement proper breathing after a race or workout is to count out 3-5 breaths during each stretch. This helps with proper technique and safety with stretching.


To take the stretching theme further, after activity, target the key muscle groups that you specifically need to stretch. If your hips and calves are restricted, spend time stretching in the movement plane that you need.  If quads and low back muscles are your need, then make sure to stretch those areas after activity.  Everyone has different limitations when it comes to flexibility. It is important to understand your key areas so you can
be sure to get the most benefit from a post workout stretching session.


Walking and light cardio activity can help with recovery by clearing lactic acid and promoting improved circulation.  If you need to travel immediately after an event, get out of the vehicle on the hour to improve blood flow through your legs.  Light activity in the first few days after a race will help with reducing delayed onset muscle soreness.


Using a foam roller or massage stick can be an asset to any recovery program.  Focus on rolling out your quads, calves, hamstrings and IT bands.  The foam roller or stick can also be used for the back and shoulders.  Focus on longer motions over the muscle initially and transition to targeting the specific knots or trigger points that you may feel are more sensitive. Spend a few minutes on each muscle group and remember to breathe while you are rolling.


For the first 48 hours or so after activity, ice is your friend.  Whether you are dealing with pain, swelling, bruising, or inflammation, ice can help calm down the irritated tissues.  Ice cup massage works great to cool an area rather quickly.  It only takes a few minutes for the tissue to get numb, letting you know to stop icing.  Ice packs, either of the gel, ice cube, or frozen pea variety, work for a 10-15 minute icing session.  Cold showers also work well, running cold water over your legs to help with decreased swelling and proper recovery.


Proper rest may be your ticket to a full recovery.  This could mean a power nap, more sleep at night (7-8 hours), or decreased workouts for a few days or more.  Listen to your body and make sure to allow proper rest and healing after key workouts and races.

Recovery is essential to get the full benefit of your workout and to bounce back from a major race.  Consider consulting with a medical provider such as a licensed physical therapist, to help you design a recovery program for your individual needs.

Okoboji 200 Recap

On June 28, 17 riders left Valley Stadium in West Des Moines for the start of the Okoboji 200 bike ride.  The ride was set up as a fundraiser to help restore victims of human trafficking through the Lighthouse Foundation organization in Nepal.  My friend Rocky Vest founded the ride in 2011. I was drawn to the ride for the cause and adventure.

The training for the big day went well with several 70 plus mile rides and one century effort.  I enjoyed getting together with several OK200 team members for training rides on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. We took advantage of the wonderful bike trail system in central Iowa, along with a number of the less traveled county roads.  If you haven’t been on the Great Western Trail, Chichaqua Valley Trail or Raccoon River Valley Trail, I would recommend checking them out.

The big day started with a group photo before the 5am start.  I was very excited for the 200 mile adventure, raising awareness for the cause we were supporting. The group headed out through West Des Moines to Waukee. From there we got on the Raccoon River Valley Trail and went west to Adel.  Already early in the ride we were noticing the strong wind coming out of the northwest.  Not good when we were planning on riding 200 miles in that direction.  By our first group stop at 42 miles, we were warmed up and ready to conquer more miles.  The next planned stop at mile 72 got trumped by a group meeting at 63 miles, due to fatigue that was setting in with riding into a 30 mile per hour headwind.  There was already talk that the ride may turn around and head back to Des Moines.  We continued on, taking turns breaking the wind and even started to use our support vehicles as wind breaks.  The 72 mile stop was much needed for rehydrating, refueling, and rest.

Around mile 93 we were pushing along when I saw from the corner of my eye one of our stronger riders miss his handlebars when putting a hand back down.  His bike started leaning as he went down. The guy behind him went down, and I wiped out on top of him.  Within seconds I found myself sitting next to my bike on the blacktop, massaging my right calf muscle to get rid of a major cramp that happened in the tangled mess.  Besides that and some road rash on my arm I thought the physical damage was minimal.  One rider needed a new wheel and another had some pretty bad scrapes on his leg.  We regrouped and continued on into the wind.

Knierim, Iowa was at 100 miles and ended up being the group’s turn around point.  Heading back to Des Moines with the wind seemed the smarter and safer option than heading northwest into the strengthening wind.  Due to a family vacation starting in Okoboji that day, riding southeast was not an option for me.  I finished my ride a little over an hour later north of Manson at a friend’s house. After getting off the bike, my right wrist started swelling and hurting.  X-rays a few days later, revealed no fractures which I was very glad about.  It would be hard to do my work as a Physical Therapist with a cast on my wrist.

The goal of the day was to support those in need and we were able to accomplish this, even though the Okoboji 200 plan did not play out as
anticipated.  The group raised around $15,000 in online and offline donations for the Lighthouse Foundation.  Thank you to all of my supporters for making this possible. For more info please see or search for Okoboji 200 on Facebook.