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WHY YOU SHOULD GET A PHYSICAL ASSESSMENT BEFORE STARTING TRAINING

The best workout programme is one that is tailored to your needs and conditions, and a physical assessment will help determine that.

02 Sep 2021
Should you do more cardio or strength training? How many days should you train in a week? Do you have any existing conditions that might make some workouts unsuitable for you?

These are among the most important questions you should ask before starting a training programme. While any exercise is generally better than no exercise, some may benefit you more than others. At the same time, you need to be aware of any moves or positions that could aggravate your current health concerns or worse, lead to serious injuries.

How Do I Get The Answers?

Get a physical assessment done. It will paint a good picture of the areas where you need more attention and highlight limitations, if any, that could get in the way. This applies not only to those who are new to training but also if you have stopped training for a while, as your body might have changed during that time.

What Will The Assessment Cover?

There are a number of physical assessment types that can be used to gather the necessary information. Areas that need to be looked into include your strength, endurance, flexibility and range of motion. You also want to identify injuries, muscular imbalances and muscle tightness.

 

How Are Physical Assessments Done?

At Fitness First, members are given two types of assessments before embarking on their training programmes: Static and Dynamic. For Static Assessment, you stand in a natural and relaxed position while the trainer observes you from the feet up and all the way to the head, looking for global alignment of the bony segments. This is based on the premise that whatever happens at your feet will affect the rest of the body.

In a Dynamic Assessment, observations are done from the posterior view and using a plumb line in between the feet. Your trainer will then observe and take note of differences between the right and left sides of your body. Among the things they will check for are weight shifts; alignment of the ankle, knee, and spine; shoulder height, PSIS (Posterior Superior Iliac Spine) levels; scapula and head carriage.

How Is The Information Used?

Based on the information gleaned, your trainer will design a programme that is specific to your individual conditions and needs while navigating around restrictions, so you can train safely and effectively.

Let’s say you have some tightness in a muscle and that has reduced your range of motion. Your training programme will take this into account and recommend working out at a lower intensity. Or maybe you have a muscular imbalance from exercising too much of one group of muscles while neglecting the corresponding ones. For example, you’ve long been a fan of push-ups and bench press but have not enjoyed upper back exercises as much. Over time, this imbalance causes bad posture and affects the way your body moves, which can then lead to pain or discomfort in other areas.

Before you embark on a training programme, ask for a physical assessment. This will go a long way in keeping you on track towards your fitness goals while minimising risks of injuries.

References:

Health & Fitness Assessments Guide 
What A Fitness Test Can Tell You About Your Health
Physical Fitness Testing