I’ve been doing quite a bit of traveling and speaking around the United States lately and one of the biggest things I’m trying to do is educate people about screening and assessing themselves and their clients. It is enormously important and also enormously overlooked and forgotten in our realm. We’ve become very good with practicing technique, programming properly and spending time mobilizing. The issue is that we don’t really understand mobility. People come to me saying they’re mobilizing but they’re still in pain or they’re still limited with “X” or “Y” exercise. The first thing I’ll ask is if anyone ever evaluated them to see where the issue is coming from, or even if the individual even needs more flexibility work. Are you using the right exercises? Do you know how to tell if your exercises are making a difference?
Being able to assess our athletes will allow us to hone in on their specific deficits and efficiently correct these. It’s important to know the source of someone’s dysfunction because if we guess wrong we’re essentially spinning our wheels by applying an intervention that doesn’t get at the root cause of the problem. Also, if we apply a shotgun approach to mobility then we’re being incredibly inefficient. Mobility and corrective exercise is already not very sexy, no need to waste time working on things that don’t need to be worked on. We want to spend the bulk of our time training and mobility should be short, sweet and effective. However, we can’t ignore mobility as some experts will espouse. Not everything can be fixed by squatting more and some things can be made worse by this approach.
Think of it this way. Imagine someone who has poor overhead squat mechanics. This could be coming solely from a right ankle dorsiflexion limitation stemming from …read more