Just got a question from a reader, asking what a movement assessment was?
So a movement assessment or screen. It's a test or series of tests to grade your movement patterns in relation to efficiency and normal function. There are many other assessments like rating your nervous system, cardiovascular and respiratory, strength tests, etc. All trying to figure out, are you optimal?
Simply put, are you moving well or are you limited, asymmetrical, and distorted. Are you headed for injury, or do you have chronic pain that you don't have the answers to, do you have weakness, and ultimately, how the hell am I supposed to train you unless I know what's going on with you.
It's part of removing the guess work out of training and keeping it scientific. It's widely used in professional sports, let's say for runners, do you run slowly because you have bad cardio or your hamstrings aren't firing enough, or it's too tight, shortening your stride.
For the regular population, how can we train you without hurting you because if we make it too easy, your body will not adapt limiting change. So athletes use it for performance reasons, regular folks a lot of times need it for rehabbing nagging issues, or preventing issues. How can I ask you to lift something heavy or swing a kettlebell or even sprint, unless we see how you move first. Or simply put how can I ask you to move differently than you're used to unless I know how you move now and why.
You have to move well, before we can have you move a lot, then we can make you a better machine. You look at a weight loss show that doesn't do any movement screens (because the trainers are not qualified) and look at the amount of injuries they have.
Humans flourished not because we are the strongest animal, but because we are the most efficient. These assessments are to screen if you are still efficient or if you have room for improvement. To look better you have to move better.
There are many many types of movement screens and assessments, I won't go into what's the best but as long as they are using some sort of system and addressing the client as an organism, they're beginning to create that "personal" approach to training.
Otherwise its just random work outs that are not specific to you and all the trainer is, is someone who counts your reps, baby sits, and hangs out with you.
It's not used nearly enough nor are people trained enough in them, hence why so many people who workout aren't even aware of its existence. But compare a trainer who does them and understands them, to one who doesn't, and the differences are night and day.
Sam Yang from an early age has been obsessed with connecting the dots between martial arts and efficiency, health, mindset, business, science, and habits to improve optimal well-being. For more info, join his newsletter. You can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter.