You may not realize, when asked to perform an overhead squat during your first visit with a trainer, that this common move is an assessment tool (OHSA) more revealing than a tiny bathing suit or a 360 degree floor-to-ceiling mirror. It shows how well your body’s musculoskeletal system functions as a unit. Watching a client’s performance of the OHSA helps professionals identify muscular imbalances and areas of inflexibility, most often brought about in these times by prolonged sessions of sitting hunched over a video screen.
A piece from The Fitness Trainer Academy explains the “test” and demonstrates with pictures the form issues that may potentially be detected. Included is a table of solutions to problems which underly these observed departures from perfect form (foot or knee moving in certain way, for example), related to over- and under-activity of specific muscles.
The article explains that to obtain “honest results” the person being assessed should receive minimal coaching, because too much instruction might force unnatural movements that will interfere with the diagnostic process. In other words, it’s better to perform the OHSA without thinking, without knowledge of its purpose, such that a discerning observer can critique how we normally move and be able to prescribe the most effective corrective exercises.
Perhaps by reading this post and the article you will have cheated yourself of an honest OHSA? I think not, based on personal experience. I’ve undergone several diagnostic sessions with various trainers over the years and I seem always to be taken unawares when asked to perform this move. I can’t help but do it honestly!
The benefit to knowing about and understanding the purpose of this test comes with recognizing that, if your form isn’t diagnosed as within acceptable range, the elements of your musculoskeletal system aren’t functioning in a mechanically coordinated manner.
According to an item on the ActivAided Orthotics blog, poor biomechanical functioning places stress on this system which, when uncorrected accumulates over time, leading to fatigue, injury, and pain. Many of us stoically attempt to push through pain in such circumstances, but ultimately injury will prevent participation in beloved athletic activities. Many who have been sidelined know that the cumulative stress effects of even minor imbalances tend to present most inconveniently just as training is being ramped up for a big competition or challenge. The disheartening result is having to stop training or not finish an event at time we hoped and expected performance to peak.
If on your own you can’t seem to perform the OHSA correctly as shown in The Fitness Trainer Academy article, consider seeking the help of a professional. Several sessions may be all that’s needed to obtain a precise diagnosis with exercise prescription and start on a corrected fitness path that allows continued training and, most importantly, years of pain- and injury-free physical activity.
Why wait for pain or injury to force this move? Try the OHSA in front of a mirror or friend.
Go from there.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
New! Search Box
Earned Runs is now searchable! Check it out...