It’s been over a year in the making, but Eric Cressey and I are about to release our next module in the Functional Stability Training System on the Lower Body. Last year we released the extremely popular FST for the Core program and began discussing how we both integrate rehabilitation with performance training. We are really excited to be releasing the program for the lower body now as well.
One of the aspects of the program that I discuss is alignment. We have really progressed our understanding of functional movement in recent years, however, you may be missing the boat if you assume that we are symmetrical and neutral. I am a believer that we need to assess and address our alignment before we can properly look at our movement patterns and restrictions.
Some of the more basic tests for alignment, like posture assessment and pelvic palpation, have many flaws and ultimately low reliability and validity. However, I feel that this is the case when assess in isolation. I prefer to take clients through a detailed assessment that looks at many different aspects of alignment and mobility. What you start to see is that patterns emerge. When several alignment tests are all pointing in the same direction, I start to feel more comfortable about the reliability and validity of my assessment.
I talk about this a lot in FST for the Lower Body and even go through an assessment process where we put the pieces of a puzzle together for one individual. Below is a quick clip showing a really quick and easy way to assess pelvic alignment. Next time you assess hamstring length, look down and see what position the leg is in. Is it rotated? abducted or adducted?
Because we force the motion and raise the leg in the sagittal plane, if there is any pelvic obliquity, there is going to be a subsequent re-alignment of the lower extremity.
This is just a quick clip of one little aspect of the process, and really not very useful in isolation, but a nice little clip to get you thinking when you are stretching or assessing hamstring length on your next client! Take this into consideration with a full assessment and it’s results may be more useful to you.
Eric and I’s Functional Stability Training for the Lower Body comes out on Monday and will be available for a special discount next week. You are not going to want to miss this! More details Monday!