Postural & Fitness Asessment

Posture is the alignment and function of all parts of the kinetic chain. The kinetic chain is composed of all of the body’s soft tissue (muscle, ligaments, tendons, etc.), the nervous system, and articular system (i.e., bones and joints). These different systems work synergistically to allow for proper alignment of the musculoskeletal system (structural efficiency) and for the neuromuscular system to perform functional tasks most efficiently (i.e., with the least amount of energy) while creating the least amount of stress on the entire kinetic chain (functional efficiency). Therefore, if any one of these systems or even a single component of one of these systems is not operating efficiently, the other systems will be forced to compensate and adjust. The resulting compensations and adjustments include tissue overload, decrease in performance, and predictable patterns of injury.

In a quick static postural observation, I will look for gross deviations in overall posture, including forward head, protracted shoulders, anterior pelvic tilt, adducted and internally rotated knees and flattened feet.

A dynamic posture observation will allow me to examine basic movements and provides crucial information about how your muscles and joints interact to produce movement.

After conducting your FREE postural assessment, I will need to gather more information about your current level of fitness and skills before developing a program. There is no “one size fits all” test that will suit each client and circumstance. An appropriate physical assessment requires thoughtful consideration of your health, exercise history, and personal goals. Assessing your individual goals is crucial for me to set up a proper training program by assessing 5 components of fitness as thoroughly as possible.

1. Body Composition

Body composition analysis is an important part of your fitness assessment because it shows how much fat you carry on your body in relation to your muscle mass. Weight alone is not a clear indicator of good health because it does not distinguish between pounds that come from body fat and those that come from lean body mass or muscle. Carrying too much fat is a condition called obesity, and puts a person at risk for many serious medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes and even certain forms of cancer.

In fact, obesity contributes to at least half the chronic diseases in western society.

There are various ways to assess body composition. The most common is a skinfold analysis however I prefer to use Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis or BIA which is considered one of the most reliable and accessible methods of screening body fat.

What is BMI?

BIA measures the impedance or resistance to a signal as it travels through the water in your body that is found in muscle and fat. The more muscle a person has, the more water their body can hold. The greater the amount of water in a person’s body, the easier it is for the current to pass through it. The more fat, the more resistance to the current. BIA is safe and it does not hurt. In fact, it’s faster, easier, less intrusive then pinching your fat with a skin fold caliper and includes a precision scale making this a simple one-step process. MyTANITA BMI monitor looks just like a bathroom scale. I simply input your age, gender and height, then ask you to step onto the platform. Electrodes in the foot sensor pads send a low, safe signal through the body. Weight is calculated automatically along with body fat content in less than a minute. Voilá!

Not All Pounds Are the Same

Overweight means an excess of total body weight based on population averages for heights and body frame sizes. Athletes and very muscular people may be overweight, but that does not mean they are over fat. Obesity means an excess of body fat regardless of weight.


Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Men A, B and C are exactly the same height. A and B have the same weight, and C weighs considerably more. For his height C appears to be fat. But after analyzing body fat levels, B and C have acceptable percentages while A has above the recommended range and is at a higher health risk.

In addition to or as a replacement (if you choose) of body fat testing I will also take circumferences of various body parts with a soft measuring tape Circumferences measurements will be taken of the neck, chest, arms, forearms, waist, hip, thighs, and calves. Waist circumference in particular is considered to by many to be a better indicator of health risk than BMI. This information will give me us a reference in which we can use to compare to in the future.

2. Cardiovascular Endurance

By definition, cardiovascular endurance is the ability to perform whole-body large muscle activities for extended periods of time. The cardio respiratory system provides a means by which oxygen is supplied to the various tissues of the body. Cardio respiratory endurance is critical for both performance and for preventing under fatigue.

There are various ways I can assess your cardiovascular fitness. At the beginning of our training I can simply observe how you physically react to the imposed physical and metabolic demands of various physical activities or have you perform specific tests which are designed to gauge you cardiovascular endurance.

A common cardiovascular endurance test is the 3-minute YMCA step test. This test involves simply stepping up and down a 12 inch step for 3 minutes.

Your cardiovascular fitness assessment results are determined by your heart rate recovery in the minute following your 3-minutes of stepping.

While the YMCA step test is a decent way to assess your cardiovascular fitness there are easier ways. With the advancement of today’s cardio equipment I can perform a cardiovascular fitness assessment with the use of a treadmill to estimate your cardiovascular endurance.

What is Cardiovascular Endurance?

Basically, transport of oxygen throughout the body involves the coordinated function of four components: the heart, the lungs, the blood vessels, and the blood. This system needs to be able to deliver enough oxygen to the exercising muscles, while removing metabolic wastes from the body. The improvement of cardiovascular endurance through training occurs because of the increased capability of each of these four elements to provide necessary oxygen to the working tissues during aerobic physical activities that last longer than 90 seconds.

Why is Cardiovascular Endurance Important?

Cardiovascular endurance is very important because the more cardiovascular fit you are, the healthier your lungs, heart and vascular system is. While exercising this may be obvious to you but there is more.

If you demonstrate high levels of cardiovascular endurance during exercise you also have more efficient heart, lungs and vascular system while at rest which takes up the bulk of your time.

This means less stress is put on your heart and lungs around the clock which enables you to avoid illness and live a long healthy life.

Cardiovascular endurance saves lives.

3. Muscular Strength & Endurance

There are many ways to initially determine your muscular strength and endurance. The most common way for personal trainers to determine your fitness assessment results for muscular endurance is to count how many push-ups and/or sit-ups and other basic exercises you can do in an allotted period of time.

I prefer to use exercises which focus on muscular endurance at first as this will allow me to estimate your muscular strength. How you respond to your initial muscular strength and endurance exercises will largely determine how I plan your training sessions at the beginning of training.

What is Muscular Strength?

Muscular strength is the amount of force your muscle can exert against resistance during a single contraction short duration, anaerobic (without oxygen) activities. Resistance includes external objects such as free weights or household objects as well as your own body weight. Muscular strength plays an important part in sports and activities requiring fast, explosive movements like football and wrestling.

Physiologically, muscular strength it is the ability to your body to supply ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate or muscle energy) to your muscle fibers for concentric, eccentric and isometric contractions in short times, which range from 0 to around 15 seconds.

Why is Muscular Strength Important?

While muscular strength may be subjective, the primary reason why muscular strength is important is your efficiency at Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). ADLs one of the most important reasons why being proficient at all 5 components of physical fitness is important.

At the very least, to be physically fit in the muscular strength department, you should demonstrate the basic muscular strength needed to efficiently perform your ADLs. While ADLs vary from person to person, you can also consider activities such as push-ups, pull-ups and carrying heavy objects as ADLs.

4. Muscular Endurance

Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or muscle group to sustain repeated contractions, usually against a resistance, without fatiguing. It also refers to the length of time a muscle can hold a contraction before fatigue sets in. Muscular endurance is essential for most sports as well as many everyday activities.

Why is Muscular Endurance Important?

Muscular endurance is the bridge between muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance. In order to be cardiovascularly fit, you must demonstrate muscular endurance.

Physiologically while muscle strength deals primarily with type II, fast twitch muscle fibers, muscular endurance deals with primarily type I, slow twitch muscle fibers. Your body contains both but only anaerobic exercises which last longer than around 15 seconds and less than 90 seconds strengthen your type I muscle fibers.

While cardiovascular endurance saves lives, strength training makes life worth living.

5. Flexibility


What is Flexibility?

Flexibility is the range of motion that can be made at a joint.

Why is Flexibility Important?

To some degree, your flexibility determines how efficiently your muscles are. Increased flexibility has also been associated with decreased risk of acute and chronic (overuse) injuries.

Poor flexibility can directly affect cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength and muscular endurance. Physiologically flexibility can include extra-muscular (range of motion at a joint) and intramuscular factors such as hypertonicity (knots) within the muscles themselves.

Since flexibility decreases with age, it is important to maintain and improve current levels. This can be done through stretching, which affects the connective tissues around a joint, thus helping increase range of motion.

Which of the 5 Basic Components of Fitness is the Most Important?

All 5 components are an essential part of fitness and are interdependent upon each other. You cannot rank one of the health related components of physical fitness over the other. You are as fit as you are competent in each of the 5 components. An exercise program develops fitness to the extent that it improves each.

Fitness is about performing well at any and every task imaginable, even unfamiliar task, and tasks combined in various combinations. Life often presents unforeseeable challenges, which impose physical and metabolic demands that most of us are not prepared for.

The endurance athlete has far exceeded any cardiovascular health benefit, and has sacrificed strength and flexibility. This is hardly the stuff of elite athleticism. No triathlete is in ideal shape to wrestle, box, pole-vault, sprint, play any ball sport, fight fires, or do police work. Each of these requires a fitness level far beyond the needs of the endurance athlete. None of this suggests that being a marathoner, triathlete or other endurance athlete is less than admirable; just don’t believe that training as a long distance athlete gives you the fitness that is prerequisite to many sports or day-to-day activities.

Free sessions are scheduled and confirmed by phone only

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