Strength, power & muscle mass sound sexy and fun, joint mobility & flexibility doesn't! Unfortunately without the mobility you can't achieve the sexy stuff, sorry. Both mobility & flexibility are essential to not only developing potential but also remaining in the gym, pain & injury free.
When teaching fitness courses an area that always rouses student interest is the movement screening section. This workshop enables us to determine joint mobility, muscle flexibility and potential injury risk. We primarily use 3 tests that'll determine basic mobility of four major joints:
Below I will detail how to perform and interpret each test with the potential outcomes of scoring poorly on that given test. You will need a partner & camera to help with measurement.
Active Straight Leg Raise
This test will assess the mobility of the hip joint and surrounding muscles such as hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, hip adductors and calves. Adequate hip mobility is essential to performing day to day tasks such as lifting from the floor and running at any speed.
Hip mobility is also essential for correct deadlift & squat mechanics and the development of muscle (bum, thighs, hamstrings etc) around the hip area. A reduction in hip mobility will likely lead to upper leg muscle strains and lower back discomfort and pain.
Interpreting the test: