Last Thursday many of you had your eyes opened by a simple movement test called the Active Straight Leg Raise. About 75% of Intrepids who attended this past Thursday found themselves seriously lacking range of motion and falling short of “passing” this test. I pulled the test from Gray Cook’s Functional Movement Systems website and his book Athletic Body in Balance where he has created a small battery of easy tests to assess the quality of your movement, and the Active Straight Leg Raise is his highest priority test. Here’s a video he put together to assess yourself and to simplify it all you’ll need is keep an objective unbiased perspective or ask another set of eyes like a friend or significant other to provide an unbiased perspective, a PVC pipe or dowel (a broom or mop handle works well too), and some masking tape. Perform these tests when you aren’t overly sore from a workout as the soreness can alter your results, and if at any time you feel pain during a test please stop, make a note on your scoresheet and let us know. Depending on the severity we may refer you to seek medical attention.
If you are like me, my results were, well how do I say this…humbling. I found that I fell short on more tests than I’d like to admit publicly, and needless to say I have a lot of work ahead of me to improve my movement. Don’t wait until injury sets you back and forces you to address your issues, be proactive and stay ahead of it as much as possible. Gray puts it best, “First move well, and then move often.”
Please score yourself and bring your scores in to me. If moving better is important to you then I can help you but your homework will depend on which tests you fail. When we talk about breaking through barriers in your performance, Gray’s simple tests might reveal your weak link (or links in my case) that have been preventing you from your full potential. Take some time and do the tests and see what areas you can improve on.