Updated: Apr 21
When it comes to optimizing movement development, whether that's building strength, increasing mobility, winning a sports competition, improving performance, or exercising for longevity purposes, one thing is clear.
You should not load dysfunction.
In other words, adding weight to an already compromised position is a recipe for disaster.
If you can't squat properly, you shouldn't put a barbell on your back until you can.
If you don't have great shoulder mobility, you shouldn't be pressing anything overhead until it improves.
Since avoiding injury is essential to any successful exercise program, it only makes sense to not fast-track or skip over any foundational movement that is needed before beginning a training program. Building on top of a sh**** foundation has never done anyone any good.
This is why I take all of my new clients through a movement assessment, as part of their full assessment, before I start to dive into writing their individualized program.
This movement assessment is HUGE for three major reasons:
1. Tells what the individual is capable of performing. Back to my point that you shouldn't load dysfunction.
2. Gives direction on where the program should begin. Any pain, weaknesses, inefficiencies, etc. should be addressed first.
3. Acts as a baseline that could be revisited later. Movement assessments are a great way to check back in with a client's basic movement patterns. Things may change throughout the program and the movement screen is something that can easily be used to check back in.
There are many different types of movement screens, methodologies, and movement certifications out there. I personally have experience with a number of them including FMS, SFMA, DNS, OPEX, EXOS, and PRI.
With that being said. . .
My typical Level 1 Movement Assessment consists of:
1. Active Straight Leg Raise (ASLR)
2. Toe Touch
3. Split Squat
6. Standing Posture
7. Belly Breathing
This is just my Level 1 Movement Assessment, which focuses on stability. I have three additional movement levels that I also take clients through on an as-needed basis.
Note that this is just the movement section of the assessment process. I have other assessments for the following areas as well including:
Mobility/Range of Motion Assessment
Body Composition Assessment
Blood Work Assessment
And, Lifestyle Assessment
In future blogs, I'll be going through my assessment systems in greater detail so you can get an idea of where you should be starting and how you can optimize your own exercise and lifestyle plan!