If you’re a fitness enthusiast or a coach you have heard the terms movement assessment or movement screen. While we each have our own interpretation of what they mean it is important to understand the origin of these words and the intention behind them.
In this month’s knowledge series James FitzGerald, founder of OPEX Fitness, breaks down the history behind the movement screen and the possible pros and cons of said screens.
In the late 90’s the word ‘function’ entered the realm of fitness. As it gained traction and functional fitness was popularized, fitness professionals and coaches began to start analyzing how exactly participants needed to move relative to their function.
Looking to base their screens in science, fitness professionals pulled from the medical model of rehabilitation. This was the starting point for the movement screens that we know today.
Over time it has become common for coaches to adopt some form of movement screen into their practice. OPEX Fitness has even created our own. (Get an introduction to OPEX Move here.) While we all have our own personal opinions and preferences about movement screens, here are some pros and cons to help you analyze your own.
At the end of this knowledge series, James explains that there is no perfect movement screen. While we each might think ours is the pinnacle, they all have flaws. That’s why James recommends that coaches modify their screen relative to what they are going to do with their client. “If I’m going to give my client a lot of leg presses I should probably have a screen for that,” says James, highlighting an example of a personalized movement screen.
Every coach needs a starting point to develop their own personalized movement screen. If you are looking for some inspiration, we have developed a four-level movement screen that is part of our body, movement, and work assessment. Get a free introduction to our system of client assessment and a checklist to use during your next assessment by downloading this free Coach’s Toolkit.