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What is Functional A Movement Screening?

The Achieve Personal Fitness Functional Movement Screening :

How do you identify the weak links in your body – Train for LIFE?

Our focus for implementing the Functional Movement Screening is on identifying body weak links (such as body misalignment and muscle imbalances) that hold you back from achieving your maximum fitness potential and maximum quality of life. You may have already heard us say, “if you are not assessing, you are just guessing.” As we move forward, not only will you see continued FMS but also Range of Motion (ROM) and Postural Analysis of all clients. In the mean time, we suggest a few ways to “self assess.”

We often talk about how you are only as strong as your weakest link. In the simplest of terms, if you are building a house, the house is only as solid, only as strong as its foundation.  Without a solid foundation, your new house will shift, move and crack.  Like the house, you need a strong foundation before you can lose the weight/bodyfat, build the muscle…rebuild your body, and rebuild your house.

Okay. So how do you go about identifying your body’s weak points? It’s not always easy to do yourself but you can do some simple assessments to look for obvious misalignment issues.  While you likely won’t be able to give yourself a full evaluation, here are a few tips and areas to pay attention to.

Stand sideways next to a mirror and observe your posture.  Are your shoulders always up toward your ears?  Is your back hunched?

If yes, these are indications that the body is misaligned. Many women carry heavy bags on their shoulder on the same side of their body and this takes a toll on your skeletal alignment. Other imbalances may be caused by muscle development imbalances (for example, the front shoulders are over-developed relative to the rear deltoids). If you spend lots of work time sitting and working on computers, posture and alignment over time can cause body imbalances.

Do you have knee or foot pain?  Take your shoe off and place your foot on the floor. Is one arch lower than the other?  Are your feet flat?

If yes, these are indications that you may have a foot or arch imbalance.  Arch imbalances can cause other body alignment issues due to the body compensating for the different angles and levels of your feet.  Sometimes it’s difficult to see differences in arch height, but for those of you who wear slip-on shoes (for example, Men’s dress shoes) do you notice that one foot is usually tighter than the other on the top of the arch?

Do you have pain in your hips or lower back?  Stand straight, forward-facing a mirror.  Does your hip alignment seem to be at an angle? Is one hip side higher than the other (test this by placing one finger on the bony projections at the front of the hip on each side and compare if your fingers are level)?

If yes, these are indications that you may have hip or lower back alignment issues.  If you are a mom and you are carrying a baby on the same hip and carrying heavy diaper bags and gear it takes a toll on your body.  Often times, this will cause one hip to be higher than the other.  This imbalance often leads to lower back pain and possibly shoulder pain.

These are just a few examples of how to identify and determine if you have body imbalances or muscle imbalances that impact your everyday life either by causing pain, or limiting range of motion.  At Achieve, our goal is to perform a Comprehensive Fitness Assessment (CFA), called our Body Blueprint, for all clients; identifying key signs of ‘weak points’ such as:

  • Foot arches
  • Tendon tightness
  • Joint pain in knees, hips, elbows, and back
  • Shoulder girdle misalignment and range of motion
  • Posture
  • Over/under developed muscles such as bicep to tricep muscle volume and hamstring to quadricep muscle volume
  • Flexibility/Inflexibility

A great suggestion for clients who have attended a small group foam rolling session and are comfortable with foam rolling techniques and who are slightly out of alignment is to purchase a foam roller.  Foam Rollers release soft tissue stress and help the skeleton return to its proper form.  Investing 5-15 minutes each day to foam roll will increase flexibility, range of motion, and improve strength and power.  All of which will help you perform better in daily activities and in athletic endeavors. Keep your eyes open for more Foam Rolling sessions at the Achieve facility and foam rolling being integrated into end of session cool downs and pre hab. Next foam rolling session – Tuesday 5/17 at 6:45 pm.

If you do have noticeable pain in joints and muscles, we encourage you talk to your coach or seek out expert advice on identifying the root cause of the pain and imbalances.  While these are just a few ways of identifying weak points, we hope it helped to explain the “interconnection” between body parts and the role that your skeletal alignment plays in a healthy body. Have a great workout!

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