SEARCH V.V. Personal Training & Coaching Blog

Functional Testing

Postural Assessment

The postural assessment identifies red flags that indicate a high risk for injury. Just like the framework of a vehicle, if there are alignment issues with the skeleton, the affected joints and connective tissue will experience abnormal wear and tear. Good posture provides health and mental benefits that many are aware of, but few practice it because without integrating it into their lifestyle, it's hard to make lasting changes. Standing with more confidence, breathing more efficiently and having the ability to cope with daily stressors are just a few of the benefits of good posture.


KNEE PAIN?
The knee joint is another common site for injury because of the moving part (patella), the shallowness of the joint and its vulnerability to incorrect muscle activation.  Since the kneecap is designed to move in a way that optimizes leverage, using the quadriceps appropriately is critical to knee health and function.  Those who have gluteal amnesia tend to overcompensate with the quads to perform many lower extremity tasks.
SHOULDER/NECK PAIN?
Since the scapula moves in a three dimensional plane positioned largely by several muscles, it's important for all of these muscles to have balanced tension to optimize shoulder stability and reduce tension on the neck and cervical spine.  Proper shoulder and neck alignment is also beneficial to reducing the severity of concussions.
BACK PAIN?
Considering the design of the spine, it's no wonder why back pain is common at any fitness level.  When the spine has its neutral curves, it can bear massive loads safely.  It only takes the slightest amount of misalignment to drastically compromise this structure.


Range of Motion Assessment
Inflexibility always wins the war of efficiency. The strongest person alive can be reduced to a beginner with an exercise that requires the range of motion that this person simply lacks. I often call inflexibility the "silent killer of performance" because if left unattended, it will wreak havoc on the neighboring ligaments, tendon, muscles and bony structures that have to bear the extra load. Many cases of sciatica, shoulder impingement, low back pain, exercise induced asthma, asthma, sprains, strains, anterior knee pain and other common overuse injuries are drastically reduced by increasing the available range of motion in the appropriate areas to reduce stress on various tissue. The range of motion assessment determines what exercises are of highest importance and helps provide a more focused approach to the training program.
BONE
Although apparently rigid, the rib cage should be capable of motion to allow the lungs to fill completely.  Increasing bucket handle motion of the ribs can reduce symptoms related to asthma, exercise induced asthma and hypertension.
Muscle & Fascia
The network of muscles is like the guy wire system of the skeleton system.  Since many muscles cross multiple joints, they can make the biggest impact on range of motion.  The pockets or containers which house the muscle is called fascia, and when they adhere to the muscle, they can also limit range of motion.  
Ligaments & Joint Capsules
Whether it's from injury, surgery, inactivity or genetics, careful attention and stability training is necessary to gaining range of motion at the ligament without developing unwanted joint laxity.  As range of motion increases, stability training is necessary to gain control over the new-found range of motion.

























Gluteal Amnesia Screening
The first of its kind, the Gluteal Amnesia Screen identifies motor control deficiencies which make it difficult to consciously or naturally engage the gluteus maximus. Identifying and maintaining the ability to engage the gluteal muscles is important to preventing other muscles from compensating and creating common injuries at the lower back and knee.

The gluteus maximus has the potential to be the largest and strongest muscle of the body, yet cycling culture is focused on the quads.  Jens Voigt was onto something when he used the term "shut up legs" because the muscles of the hip and leg should always be fatigued as a system, and not in isolation.  If you often tell yourself "shut up quads" or any specific muscle group, then it's time for a Gluteal Amnesia Screen.


Cycling Muscle Optimization
A bike fitting improves power transfer by making it more likely for the correct muscle groups to engage, but it doesn't guarantee that the correct muscles will be engaged. By reeducating the motor control system, cyclists develop greater control over their muscles to produce the efficient and powerful pedal stroke the bike fit was meant to allow. Cyclists experience a longer onset to fatigue and no longer experience localized fatigue or limitation from the quadriceps or any isolated muscle group. Rather, the muscles at the hip, knee and ankle fatigue as a system, indicating optimal muscle coordination for maximal efficiency and power output.
Poor Neural Communication
This is what "muscular amnesia" looks like.  The nerves have difficulty talking to each other and despite conscious effort, the target muscle doesn't activate or activates partially.  Anyone with a large left and right power output will benefit greatly from CMO.
Healthy Neural Communication
When your brain can freely to talk to the muscle, this is what produces the "feel" and certainty that you're recruiting the correct muscles.  A more balanced left and right power output can be achieved, and the upper body/ respiratory muscles can work with less restriction..
Glute Activation during Pedaling
The most advanced bike fitting isn't complete without CMO.  Being able to recruit the correct muscle groups is necessary to ensuring injury prevention and maximizing power output.






Body Composition Testing
Too much or too little body fat can cause serious health problems. Measuring and tracking body fat is important to ensuring optimal physical performance as well as preventing diseases related to having an unhealthy amount of body fat. Depending on the client's needs, I may use one of the methods below to track body fat and create a plan to optimize it.
BMI & Body Circumference
When used alone, BMI doesn't take into account body composition.  When combined with circumference measurements, it helps track where the most fat is being lost at various parts of the body.
Skinfold Caliper
A simple, non-invasive method that estimates body fat composition via electrical impulse.  This is a popular method that provides repeatable measurements as long as hydration, meal status, "waste" status is controlled.
BMI & Waist Circumference
Recommended for athletes, body builders or anyone looking to fine tune their body fat composition.  Too much or too little can negatively affect the athletes economy and efficiency.