The Physical Assessment Framework
This part of the process gives us the chance to see the current fitness level of the client; and to see how coachable the client is. This information is vital to give us a better understanding of how we can help members to get the most out of their coaching journey.
Below, you’ll find a sample assessment template broken down into movements and exercises, along with the key points we’re looking for and potential corrections and considerations.
When selecting movements for the assessment, aim for those that sit in the middle to the lower end of the progression-regression system. The majority of people coming for an assessment will struggle with more advanced movements, so this establishes a solid, widely applicable baseline for assessment.
|Movement Pattern||Exercise||Key Points||Implications/Corrections|
|Spinal movement||Cat/camel||Can client move freely into both flexion and extension through spine?||N/A|
|Core/shoulder stability and spinal alignment||Bird dog||Is client able to create stability and control while achieving correct positioning?||Look at regressions for rotational stability and push up variations.|
|Hips and T-spine||Mountain climber with rotation||Does the client have mobility to achieve a good position through hips, T-spine and ankles?||Gives clues as to ROM for certain exercises (especially lower body).|
|Overhead||Shoulder flexion assessment||Can the client achieve an overhead position without compensating at the lower back/ribs flaring?||Poor range or dysfunctional pattern will mean no overhead pressing. May need T-spine mobility.|
|Squat||Goblet squat||Foot position/ankle mobility, knee valgus, pelvic tuck and spinal position.||Allows analysis of where to start on squat continuum. May need to work on hip/ankle. mobility.|
|Hinge||BB/dowel hinge or KB deadlift||Spinal position, body awareness, posterior chain flexibility/strength.||Coaching opportunity and determines where they start on hip hinge continuum.|
|Core stability||Tall plank||Ability to maintain correct position, sagging hips, weight distribution.||Shows how much regression required in plank variations.|
|Single leg||Reverse lunge||Mobility, stability of ankles, knees and hips. Ability to maintain correct torso positioning.||May need to work on ankle mobility and stability around hip and lower back.|
|Horizontal push||Push up||Ability to maintain correct position/technique, sagging hips and weight not distributed correctly.||Strength/endurance in push up. Which variation will they start with and can they produce whole body stiffness to produce a push up?|
|Horizontal pull||Inverted row||Scapula protraction and retraction. Not pulling through upper traps, scapula control.||Strength/endurance in this movement. Do they need remedial work for overactive traps and underactive scapula retractors?|
Here are some guidelines for assessing each of the fundamental movement patterns.