Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Assessing Movement. What approach do you use with patients and clients?
As health care and fitness professionals we should be using established minimum movement competency standards to determine the readiness of our clients to participate in generalized exercise programs. This is especially true prior to designing and implementing sport & skill specialized programming. All to often in our current North American sport culture we eschew the fundamentals of movement and free play for highly specialized single sport participation which ultimately is leading us to a greater number of injuries in younger populations . These over-trained and previously injured youth athletes grow up and later present themselves to us in rehabilitation clinics and at our gyms seeking to recover and recapture their former athleticism. No matter the entry point into the health and fitness systems we owe our clients a thorough evaluation or assessment to determine the readiness for our programming. An objective, systematic approach to new client intake has the potential to set your business and your client up for the greatest success. Far to many health and fitness facilities stop the intake process at a brief past medical history and completion of the gym contract and jump right into sets and reps of their facilities brand of exercise. Because of poor participant readiness for our programming we lose many of these individuals through attrition. Gray Cook, PT, describes this as clients feeling Awkward, Disconnected, and Intimated. These 3 things that many (be honest-most) of personal training clients feel when beginning and performing some the the programs we concoct for them. These 3 things greatly limit our ability to help our clients achieve their goals. That said a central component of becoming a master training/instructor is to first become a student/client. Get uncomfortable and explore methods and instructors that push you out of your "normal" program. I think you'll be surprised what you learn.
Learning. As a Health Care or Fitness Professional you owe it to your clients to continue to learn and grow as a clinician and coach. Develop a system for client intake that identifies barriers and limitations that will hinder the individuals success in your program. Gray Cook, PT, Dr. Stuart McGill, PhD, and Dr. Craig Liebenson, DC offer us the unique opportunity to learn from all three of them about the importance of a well thought out intake system. Assessing Movement is the DVD of the once in a lifetime opportunity to get three of the leaders in health and sports medicine on the same stage sharing the science of intake design.
By performing a systematic intake on each client that enters your facility you are offering a better product to your customer. Identification of barriers and limitations before training and exercise allows us to address them before it becomes a painful medical problem (YES training in Pain is a medical problem: Dr. Kyle Kiesel PT, ATC, PhD describes here and needs addressed in a systematic way ie: SFMA). This standardized intake also establishes a baseline measure that we can use to evaluate the impact our program design is having on the individual. The better an individual is prepared for programming the less potential for pain and injury as a result of training and less awkwardness, disconnectedness, and intimated our clients will be. And if our clients are moving and performing well the more likely they will be engaged in our programming and that leads to better retention in your facility. A win for everyone.
Find a system, develop a system, use it, break it then fix and continue learning. We owe it to our profession and our clients.
Posted by Paul Gorman