Full body assessments let us see what is happening in your body. Not only does it give us insight into why you might have the injury(s) or niggles that you are experiencing it can also let us know where you might be at risk of injury in the future. Without knowing these little bits of information we could easily start an exercise plan that would cause all kinds of unnecessary issues.
The stress of riding on a crooked wheel could cause the wheel to fall apart. To get a crooked bicycle wheel to roll straight or true, you must shorten/tighten the loose spokes and lengthen/loosen the tight ones.” – Paul Chek
So what’s involved?
There are four components to the assessment process: Flexibility, Postural, Core control/ability and Primal Pattern assessments. I will also continue to assess your movement patterns as we train. Once we have looked at each of these areas we can easily see what is in perfect working order and what (if anything) needs a little TLC so as not to train into an injury. The session takes between one and two hours depending on how much we need to look at and discuss – Although I try and get the assessment done in good time I never rush so that I get all the answers I need to write you your perfect workout. If you only have an hour free but we don’t get finished, we will arrange a follow up appointment to complete whatever was left.
Poor or uneven flexibility scores shows us a number of things such as
- Reasons for bad posture
- Certain flexibility patterns show your potential for certain injury types
- Certain flexibility patterns are left after injuries and need to be rebalanced
- Unbalanced flexibility puts unnecessary torsion on the spine increasing your risk of back, and other injuries
I will look at your results with two intentions. The first is where are you compared to a text book answer and two where you need to be to meet the needs of your hobby/sport/lifestyle. There is no point be comparing everyone to the same guidelines as we all need different movement and flexibility. Why try and get a pilot to the same results as a gymnast?
Your static flexibility results tell us a lot about your body and what is needed to get it ready for the challenges that lie ahead but they don’t paint the whole picture. Have you ever hung a picture on the wall and it looks perfectly straight whilst you hang it but when you step back its no where close? This is the difference with static flexibility and a postural analysis. Sometimes the flexibility scores come back perfect yet you stand all contorted or flexibility is all over the place yet posture is perfect?? (these are the extremes – usually there is only a few curve balls) We need to look at both for the whole picture.
I also measure your spine angles to determine if you have one or more of the following that need to be considered:
- Forward head posture -putting excess pressure on the neck and spine
- Kyphosis – rounded top half of the spine; common in office workers constantly looking at the computer and more recently an increasing issue in people that text and use there smart phones or tablets regularly
- Lordosis – excessive lumbar curve (think J-Lo) putting sprain on the spine and legs
- Excess/Reduced Pelvic Tilt – this will affect the whole body in extreme cases
It is really important to know how your core is functioning. If the core isn’t strong and/or coordinated from the beginning we are just waiting for the injuries to come along. No matter your goals you will need a fully functioning core as it governs EVERYTHING!
- A strong, coordinated core reduces your injury risk significantly
- Almost all back pain comes from a weak and/or uncoordinated core
- Crunches do not give you a strong core, or a flat stomach!
- Improving your core makes you stronger without having to do any strength work
- It improves your coordination for every-day activities.
The good news with the core is no matter how good or bad it is, it will start to work correctly very quickly on the right program! The body is just about the laziest ‘machine’ around! It is always striving to find the easiest, most efficient way of performing every task it does to conserve energy. As soon as we start to re-educate the core and your neurological system on how it should move/work it will happily take the correct way as it is the easiest way. Giving you a healthier, happier body!
Lastly I assess all the Primal Patterns; the fundamental movements that we all need to aptly survive life. There are seven movements that I test – Squat, Lunge, Bend, Twist, Push, Pull and Gait. Even those that don’t visit a gym, or class themselves as doing exercise perform each of these patterns every day so it is important to see what is going on in each of these.
Don’t think you squat? How do you sit down into your chair or into your car?
Don’t think you deadlift (bend)? How do you lift an item from the floor?
Don’t think you push or pull? How do you open doors?…. you can see where these patterns emerge.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.