Why mobility, flexibility and muscle testing are really important?
In the training world, the best trainers who will raise above the rest are the ones who evaluate! Just getting the muscle assessment is only one third of the solution! What about the mobility and flexibility? Testing is getting more and more precise and technical. In order to get the job done, you must get educated, get some certifications and build an evaluation program that will work for you.
Mobility is a part of the evaluation that we often don’t do. Why? Because we feel that it’s not important or it’s a waste of time. Did you know that without mobility, the biomechanics of the split squat or step up or even, bench press can lead to compensation which lead to injuries? Some of you will say; Duh, this is logic! Yes, compensation leads to injuries! But a good trainer will try to find it before the client gets injured.
Here are the 8 mobility tests that you should do before getting to the muscle testing part. You must always test the mobility. If the mobility is not effective, then why test the muscular part? Fix what is not working then move on.
Here are the 8 main tests:
1 - Deep overhead squat
2 - Hurdle step
3 - Inline lunges
4 - Shoulder mobility (with measurement)
5 - Trunk stability push up
6 - Rotary stability
7 - Trunk stability push up test
8 - Active leg raise
In the world of testing, there is many good tests that you can do. A good tip would be to use the ones that are easy to do and to understand for the client. If you lose the client with all sorts of explinations or complicated movements then you will end up explaining a lot and you won’t get anywhere. In any evaluation, the key is a simple explanation and effective command. Be clear. You should always demonstrate the movement before testing it on the client.
Then go on to flexibility. If you are flexible, you will be stronger. One of the best test is the structural balance that I learned from Charles Poliquin. The advantage of this test is that it’s simple and very efficient. It’s 4 simple tests and only take 10 seconds per test. You will be able to see the muscle stiffness and some muscle imbalance at the same time. Make sure you really know how these tests work. If not, DON’T DO IT! It will jeopardize the strength / rehab / prehab program.
Here are the 4 tests:
1 - Klatt test
2 - Rocker board test
3 - Wobble board test
4 - Sit fit test
If you fail all 4 tests, you have a big problem with flexibility from my point of view. I think that it’s very possible to do mobility and flexibility at the same time.
The last part in the evaluation is muscle testing. I like to do a lot these tests. It can reveal a lot on your client basic strength. I’m not talking about a heavy squat, bench press or deadlift here. Just some basic strength in the shoulder girdle and the pelvic area. Face it, if you have a shitty rhomboid, your deadlift will suck big time. Poor rotators cuff will cause your bench to be as good as a toddler.
I can’t list them all because there is too much. It’s important to test the muscles from the deep muscle tissue to the superficial tissue. In other words, inside out. It will take time to get used to do testing and find out the problems. You have to test on a lot people. The more you test, the better you will be at it. In my opinion, the best evaluator did a good minimum of 300 evaluations. I say good but at this rate you will damn good!
To sum it up, if the mobility sucks, work it first (with the flexibility). Then move on the prehab / rehab or strength. If you can’t move (lack of mobility), regain mobility and flexibility. Afterward, your strength will increase. You will not believe it!