At Bullett Performance Training, we are big advocates of assessing each client before prescribing a strength and conditioning training regimen. Here are five reasons why:
#1 Evaluations allow us to differentiate ourself
With the fitness industry booming, we see more coaches/trainers jumping into commercial gyms or opening up their own space. While those are both integral parts to building a career in this field, many do so without administering a movement evaluation. This is arguably the most important piece of our operation as it gives our coaches an excellent opportunity to identify any areas of susceptibility. Having a great understanding of where a client has come from, gives us a significant advantage in helping them achieve their goals without putting them at risk for injuries.
#2 Pre-Screening Health History
Before any client begins the movement evaluation, they are required to complete a health history report. By doing so, this gives our coaches a moment to review the individual’s background information before sitting down with them for a pre-screening discussion on their training history, setting goals, etc.… Furthermore, this allows us to take an extensive look at movement rather than guessing as to why they may present limitations to flexibility or movement.
#3 Thorough Movement Screening Exposes Limitations
Continuing off point #2, it is vital to look at both static and dynamic tests as both have their importance to understanding movement as a whole. We can start to gather information by how an individual presents at rest, but it’s just as crucial to test how they move dynamically.
Administering both passive and active tests are essential when determining a needs analysis for that individual. We begin by identifying flexibility limitations from a pure tissue extensibility standpoint by executing passive assessments. Following our passive screen, we will then look at movement through a passive screen to test the strength and stability to control that movement against gravity.
As in the example below, you may see athletes present great mobility in a passive shoulder flexion test on the table. On the other hand, stand them up and test their standing shoulder flexion or overhead squat test and see they have obvious limitations to strength/stability to maintain good positions.
#4 Identifying Baselines
When parents or clients want to measure progress, it is important to document a baseline of where the individual began. Whether that is identifying a range of motion improvements from a hockey player’s ability to rotate more through his thoracic spine and increase power and efficiency of his slap shot, or if a gen-pop client can now perform a successful and non-painful toe touch.
#5 Building Rapport with Clients/Athletes
Last but not least, the simple art of breaking the ice. Nobody likes showing up to an event or function and not knowing anybody there, and the gym is no different when it comes to being comfortable around new faces. It’s great to come in and sit down for a one on one with our qualified coaches and become comfortable with them before making your way onto the training floor.
We talk a lot amongst our coaches on what it means to “have some feel”. I truly believe that is one of the most important traits for any coach to have. You wouldn’t want to administer any movement screen that would leave the client embarrassed. Rather it might be wise to find an alternative way to execute a test or simply skip over it to avoid any chance of failing miserably.
In our space, we make it a point during the initial consult that each coach introduces themselves with a warm welcome to the BPT Family.