NASM CPT 7th Edition Chapter 12: Posture, Movement, and Performance Assessments 1

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    Chapter Goals:

    • Find the rationale for posture, movement, and performance assessments.
    • Find the steps for doing assessments on posture, movement, and performance. 
    • Be able to understand the results of assessments on posture, movement, and performance.
    • Give a summary for the use of fitness assessments as tools for building rapport and credibility with your clients.

    Introduction to Postural, Movement, and Performance Assessments

    These types of assessments are a vital part of the intake process for all clients and assists the trainer in making an individualized program for exercise for the client’s well-being.

    Static posture is the position of the musculoskeletal system when the body is simply standing.

    Dynamic posture is the alignment of the body during motion.

    Fitness professionals need to be good at recognizing correct optimal movement based on the foundations of anatomy and physiology.

    Importance of Posture

    Optimal posture allows for your body to be aligned in a way that will lower stress on joints and tissues, whether it is seated, standing, or lying. 

    Poor posture often results from work environments that require excessive amounts of sitting.

    Muscle Imbalances

    These are alterations in the lengths of muscles around a joint where some are overactive, and some are underactive. There is simply a lack of balance in the muscles around a joint.

    Static Postural Assessment

    This allows the professional to look at deviations from the optimal bodily alignment in a standing position.

    Static posture assessments include anterior, lateral, and posterior views to see all the deviations from the optimal position that exists.

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    This also utilizes the kinetic chain checkpoints. These are:

    • Feet and ankles
    • Knees
    • Lumbo-pelvic-hip-complex
    • Shoulders
    • Head and neck

    Common Distortion Patterns

    There are three common distortion patterns that are seen.

    Pes planus distortion syndrome: Characterized by flat feet, knee valgus, and adducted and internally rotated hips 

    Lower crossed syndrome: Characterized by an anterior pelvic tilt and excessive lordosis (extension) of the lumbar spine 

    Upper crossed syndrome: Characterized by a forward head and protracted (rounded) shoulders 

    It is important to know how to recognize these various patterns.

    Observing Dynamic Posture

    Overhead Squat Assessment

    This is one of the first movement assessments used for the majority of clients. It is possibly one of the best ones for showing so many problems.

    This assessment is designed for assessing dynamic posture, stability of the core, and control of the neuromuscular system for the entire body in a squatting motion.

    This advanced movement has a lot of moving parts and things to look for, so it is important to thoroughly study this part of the book.

    Many impairment types can be found during certain parts of the move and in all kinetic chain checkpoints.

    Single-leg Squat Assessment

    This looks at the dynamic posture, strength in the lower extremity, balance, and coordination in the body overall.

    This test is normally done for the clients that do well when performing the overhead squat assessment. 

    Pushing Assessment

    This assessment is done to challenge the upper body and the trunk during pushing moves. It can be done before a workout session or put into the actual programming to accomplish.

    Pulling Assessment

    This is an assessment that challenges the upper body and trunk when pulling. This can also be done before or during an exercise training session.

    Performance Assessments

    Push Up Test

    This measures the muscular endurance of the upper body during pushing moves. The goal will be to complete as many reps as possible, while using good form, in a certain length of time. 

    The test can be done many ways, and this depends on the population being tests, but most often the standard 60 second standard push up test is done.

    Bench Press Strength Assessment

    This is used to look at max strength and find a one rep max for the exercise of the bench press. It may not be good for all clients, but it is a solid test for those with strength-specific goals.

    Squat Strength Assessment