Movement screening is assessing the way in which the body moves during different patterns, it is not a medical examination! If you are in pain or already suffering from an injury then a referral to a medical practitioner is very much advised before embarking on any exercise program/assessment.
The screen is used to highlight any movement dysfunction or muscle imbalances so that the appropriate exercises can be prescribed to improve performance.
Movement screening should be at the forefront of any exercise/training program, if we’re not testing then we are only guessing & your body is too precious to be investing in an exercise regime that may eventually hinder your performance or even prevent you from performing at all!
How the body works
The body works in an alternating pattern of stable segments connected by mobile joints. If this pattern is altered then dysfunction & compensations occur leading to possible injuries.
Normal Movement Pattern
Ankle – Mobile
Knee – Stable
Hip – Mobile
Pelvis/sacrum/lumbar spine – Stable
Thoracic spine – Mobile
Scapula – Stable
Shoulder – Mobile
Elbow – Stable
Wrist – Mobile
Cervical Spine – Stable
What could alter this pattern?
Muscle imbalances can alter the normal movement pattern of mobile joints & stable segments. Muscle imbalance are caused by a sedentary lifestyle, lack of variety of movements & prolonged sitting! In todays world most of us work for long hours, sit at a desk for eight hours a day, maybe drive to & from work but the point is we are constantly sitting.
With time the hip flexors will become shortened & tight, therefore your brain will automatically shut down the muscle on the opposite side – the gluteal muscles. Now that the glutes aren’t working your body will compensate & use the hamstrings & lower back to do its job – extend the hip. So your body is now recruiting muscles that were never intended to be used in an exercise like walking!
Lower Crossed Syndrome
The most common muscle imbalance is a pattern called lower crossed. The lower crossed syndrome is a combination of:
Tight hip flexors, Weak Gluteus maximus
Tight erector spinae, weak rectus abdominis
Tight TFL, weak gluteus medius
Upper crossed syndrome
Upper crossed syndrome is a combination of:
Tight upper trapezius, weak lower trapezius
Tight Pectoralis major, weak serratus anterior