Written By Dave  |  Blog  |  0 Comments

Assessments – What they are and why you need one.

At IronBody Fitness we want to make sure you are safely getting fit. That means we have to know if you have any issues or restrictions and if you do and how we can improve them or work around them. If you have a shoulder issue you probably shouldn’t be pressing overhead, pushups may also be out. It depends on the person. Likewise you may have a knee issue that could be aggravated by squatting so you may not be able to do a full squat or a lunge pattern. You may not even be aware of any issues but if they are there it’s just a matter of time before you break. In the shoulder example, if you can’t raise both arms completely vertical without arching the back you have an issue; it could be tight lats, tight pecs or weak scapular stabilizers. We can’t tell without a full assessment.

Some issues are readily apparent but what is the underlying cause of your shoulder or knee problem? Can IronBody help make it better? More importantly can we make it worse! Obviously we want to avoid the latter and if possible we want to give you the program design that will help resolve the problem. Please note that we are not Physical Therapists and can’t treat pain, but we are trained in looking for the root cause of problems and developing training programs that can help you. We’ve spent countless hours and several thousands of dollars to gain the knowledge to do much more than just leave you gasping for breath at the end of a workout.

Let’s say you come to our Group Fitness class and start experiencing knee problems when you squat or lunge. The first thing is to make sure you are doing them properly! If that doesn’t make it better we need to look deeper and that’s where the  Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and Full Assessment come in to play. I’d have you set up a time for the FMS and see what’s going on. Then we’d try some different exercises based on the screen to try and strengthen weak areas, mobilize restricted areas etc. If, after a month or so, you were still having problems we’d do a Full Assessment to get a more detailed idea of what may be happening.

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  •  Just because you have a pain doesn’t mean you are injured (yet) or that the painful area is actually where the problem lies!


For example the pain in your knee may not be caused by the knee! It could be a hip problem, a tight ITB (the band of fibers that run down the outside of the thigh), it could even be an ankle on the opposite side. But how are you going to know what is really causing the problem with out someone checking you out? The FMS looks at movement patterns and give us a lot of info, the Full Assessment gives us more specific information. It drills down to pinpoint the muscles that are causing the problem which allows us to write programs to help the problem areas. Together the FMS & Full Assessment give us a total picture of what’s going on.

We also do a postural analysis: We take pictures of you from the front, sides and back, in various positions so we can see how you stand, if your head is too far forward, if your shoulder blades stick out. All those static positions give us clues to look more closely at specific areas in the FMS or Full Assessment.

The rest of this article will discuss the Postural Assessment, we’ll follow it up with later posts on the FMS and Full Assessment. Finally we’ll do a little case study on me.

The Postural Assessment:

We take a series of pictures from the front, both sides and the back. When we take these pictures we need to be able to see your knees, shoulder blades, hip bones front and back. This allows us to see whether the hips are tilted or rotated, whether your shoulder blades lay where they should, whether your knee track with the toes etc. Therefore guys need to wear mid thigh length shorts and no shirt or shoes. Ladies, yoga pants or compression shorts that show the knees and that the waist band can be rolled down to show the hip bones front and back. You’ll also need to wear a sports bra.

There are 12 shots taken in all. You’ll be standing on one leg for some pictures, holding your arms outstretched over your head in others. These pictures give us a snapshot of your posture, spinal alignment, torso and head position, pelvic tilt, tightness in the shoulders and a lot more.

For example many people have one shoulder higher than the other but most trainers don’t see it . More difficult to spot s a rotated pelvis, but by seeing you stand, where your feet point, where the knees point and several other cues we can tell if you are rotated and which way. This allows up to develop training programs to address those issues. Why is that important?? A rotated pelvis can cause a back injury, a knee problem or even shoulder pain! So it’s important to know what’s going on so you don’t get hurt. No other fitness center in town does that!

front postureLooking at the girl on the left: Her left trap is more developed than the right, her right thigh is more developed than the left, there is tension in the waist. One arm is closer to her side than the other. These are all clues that something is off somewhere. But what is causing the rotation or the weight shit?? We have to dig deeper by doing a movement screen. We’ll discuss the FMS in our next article



If you are a current member and have not gone through the FMS and postural assessment please schedule one here. There is no charge for current active members.

If you would like a Full Assessment please email me for details.

If you are not a current member, please contact us to schedule either the FMS or Full Assessment