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5 Fundamentals
of Movement
Test

In my 12 years in the fitness industry 🏋️‍♂️, I've assessed the fitness level of over 750 clients - Finding the fundamentals needed for optimal physical fitness and proper movement - meaning reduced joint/muscle pain and improved posture.

Dive into the video series below to pinpoint your weak areas and start your journey to a stronger, pain-free you! 🌟

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Ankle mobility is needed to squat properly which in turn will help prevent back pain. Proper mobility in the ankle will also help to improve achilles pain and shin splints. Try these 2 test:

1. Ankle mobility

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1. Wide Squat/Narrow Squat

Standing with your feet shoulder width apart & once with your feet touching, squat down, keeping your upper body upright and looking straight forward.

 

Improvement needed if:

- Your heels come off of the floor

2. Quad strength

Quad strength is super important to stabilize the knee and help prevent knee pain. Proper strength will also make squatting and everyday movements much easier.

Try these 2 tests:

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1. Wall sit

If you have a slippery floor, you will want to do this with either shoes on or barefoot. Lean against a wall with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet directly under your knees. Always keep your head, shoulder blades, lower back and butt on the wall as you hold. Let your arms hang or hold them straight out in front of you, but dont push into your legs.

Improvement needed if:

- You feel pain in your knees at any point

- You are unable to keep your head or back on the wall

- You are unable to hold for at least 60sec.

 

A 30 - 60 second hold without pain is already very good!!! Trust me. Please keep practicing until you can get to at least 60 seconds.

2. Single leg squat test

The single leg squat is the ultimate test for leg strength, balance and stability. If you are able to do this with good form and no knee pain, congrats.

Sit down on a couch/chair and to test if your legs are at 90 degrees. If so, you have the right height.

Slowly lift one leg off of the floor and focus on keeping your balance. As you begin to sit down, make sure the leg that is in the air is straight and your foot stays off of the floor. Try to slowly sit down and get back up keeping your back straight and your head up. Make sure to keep your knee in line with your foot and dont let it cave in or go out. Test on both sides

 

Improvement needed if:

- You feel pain in your knees at any point

- Your knee doesnt stay in line with your foot

- You are unable to keep your foot that is in the air off of the floor throughout the movement

- You are unable to drop down controlled with a straight back and get back up

3. Hip mobility

Hip mobility and glute strength is needed for pelvic stability and balance, to reduce lower back and knee pain and is the foundation to a strong core. Test your hips below:

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1. Side lift

Grab a knee pad and kneel on all fours. While keeping your left knee aligned with your right, lift your knee to at least 90 degrees or leveled with your hips and hold for at least 5 seconds. Make sure your right hip stays over the right knee and doesnt move to the right. Also make sure your left knee doesnt go back and stays in line with the right knee. Repeat both sides.

 

Improvement needed if:

- You are unable to hold for at least 5 seconds

- Your hip sways off to the side and doesnt stay in a direct line over your knee

- The knee that is lifted doesnt stay in a straight line with the knee on the floor

2. Leg extension

Lay flat on your stomach with your forehead resting on your hands and bend your right leg to 90 degrees. While keeping your right foot over your right knee, lift your right leg as high as possible and hold. Hold until you feel a muscle working. Which muscle is lifting your leg? Try to do this in front of a mirror to make sure your maintaining 90 degrees. Repeat on both sides.

 

Improvement needed if:

- You feel your lower back and/or hamstring lifting your leg but not your butt

- You get pain in your back

4. Abs/Front Chain strength

Your abdominal strength/front chain is extremely important to help prevent and relieve lower back pain. Proper strength will also make functional movements easier. It also looks good when visible =).

2 methods to test your strength:

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1. Front chain test

Lay down on your back and extend your legs straight up with your feet in a straight line over your hips and your legs fully extended.

 

Improvement needed if:

- You have pain in your lower back at any point

- You are unable to fully extend your legs

- You are unable to get your legs to 90 degrees or your feet directly above your hips.

- You do not feel your abs engaged.

2. Plank

Get on both elbows with your elbows right underneath your shoulder joint. Tilt your pelvis back by contracting your abs & butt - flattening your back. Dont move your hips to high or too low and dont arc your lower back. Its best to do this by a mirror to check your form.

Improvement needed if:

- You experience pain in your lower back at any point

- You are unable to flatten your back

- You were unable to hold for at least 1.30min

 

A 45 - 90 second hold without pain is already very good!!! Trust me. Please keep practicing until you can get to at least 90 seconds.

Were you able to pass all the front chain tests, however still struggle from lower back pain? You may still have pain as your hips are extremely weak, which is putting too much pressure on your back. Try lots of butt and hamstring exercises to strengthen your posterior chain and help take the pressure off of your back.

5. Upper spine mobility

If you are sitting in a forward slouch for several hours per day, have pain in your neck/shoulder blades or difficulty lifting your arms over your head, you may be suffering from a limited mobility in your upper spine and a lack of strength in your upper body. Complete the following tests to see.

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1. Wall angels

Lean against a wall with your head, shoulder blades and butt pressed against the wall. Slightly bend your knees and keep your feet shoulder width apart. Start the movement by lifting your arms to 90 degrees and get your elbows and the back of your hands against the wall. Try to fully extend your arms by sliding up and try to get your hands on the level of your chin when sliding down. Keep your hands in a straight line with your elbow.

 

Improvement needed if:

- you are unable to keep your hands/elbows against the wall when sliding

- you are unable to keep your head/shoulder blades or butt on the wall

- you are unable to fully extend your arms or get your hands down to chin level

- you get pain in your neck/shoulders/shoulder blades during the movement

2. Push Ups

Push ups are the ultimate upper body strength test. If you can complete 3 push ups with proper form, VERY GOOD!

Improvement needed if:

- you are unable to maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.

- your elbows go outward and do not stay along your sides

- you cannot drop to right above the floor.

Were you able to pass both tests, however are still struggling with pain in your shoulders/shoulder blades/neck? Most likely you just need to develop strength in your upper back and lats. Try lots of pulling exercises like lat pulldowns and rows. You can also build strength in your chest to take the pressure off of your shoulders when pushing.

The Overhead Squat

The overhead squat is the ultimate full body strength and mobility test. Give it a try and see if you can complete 3 good reps.

Now its time to improve your weak areas

How did you do?
If you found weak areas, please do not get discouraged. Trust me, you are not alone. Unfortunately, our current sedentary lifestyle is the cause to the majority of our physical health issues (and some mental health issues as well!). 

Would you not like to move freely, pain free, with good posture, a healthy weight and feel strong? I promise you, everyone can achieve this. Regardless of your current level, you can get there.

Please don't get distracted or overwhelmed with the fitness industry. You actually don't need much. 

Proper upper spine mobility, abdominal strength, hip mobility, quad strength and ankle mobility is the foundation you need to move freely. If you can master all of these, you are less likely to experience pain and get injured.

With just 5-15mins per day, focusing on one weak area, with only 1-2 exercises, you will improve!! You can reach your goal within 6 weeks, 3 or 6months. I promise!!! You just need guidance, someone to show you how to do it properly, a routine that matches your needs, someone to hold you accountable and place expectations in you - someone that believes in you.

With my online program, I have been able to help hundreds of people improve their lifestyle. 15mins a day may not seem like much, but when you are focusing on your weak areas, I promise you, it gets tuff. Your heart rate will increase, you will start feeling your muscles, you will get stronger/fitter - and you will accomplish this EVERYDAY - exactly what we need to develop better daily habits.

My online personal coaching program is about you and your needs.

 

You can check out my video discussing my 4 truths to getting fit - which is basically everything you need to getting start again. Click here.

If you would like to meet via Zoom, I'd be happy to get to know you. We can discuss my online PT program, I can introduce you to the coaching app and give you all the details. Just fill out the form below (whatsapp or Email) and I will get back to you. You can also schedule a meeting directly with me here.

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