Movement Screen for Athletes: The Deep Squat
Movement Screen for athletes are critical to insight in an athletes movement and motor patterns. We, MVP Training, Screen athletes for several different reasons. Sports Performance coaches most often miss these movement patterns or disfunction in motor patterns that we find. MVP Training has done extensive research with help of UAB Orthopedic Training Staff that has given us unique insight to helping young athletes improve performance. Download this Free Example of a Team Evaluation.
We screen athletes at our facility one time per month to help track progress and know how to adjust programs. Normal progress for athletes takes much longer than a month but it is better to keep track of this data so that we can analyze and use it in the right way.
Our young athletes don’t move very well for several reasons. But the fact is that if we don’t assess these problems we don’t know where to start to help our athletes. This is why we start with the movement screen. The Deep Squat is the most important out of all the screens because it gives us tons of great feedback on how the athlete moves at mostly all joints.
- Little Movement– Our athletes sit at a desk 6-7 hours a day with very little moving. Postural Problems (spine) and hip issues are related because the athletes aren’t as active as they once were.
- Specializing– Our athletes are used to 1 sport which creates a repeated overuse issues throughout the year. A great resource for parents http://changingthegameproject.com/
- No Physical Literacy– Our athletes don’t have the basic foundation of movement skills that they need to be an athlete because they don’t have enough physical activity or PE during their school days. A great resource to learn more about physical literacy is http://canadiansportforlife.ca/
Description of a Movement Screen: The Deep Squat
Screening athletes is where MVP starts. The screen involves many different movement patterns that we commonly see in athletics. Different patterns are squatting, lunging, lateral movement, rotating, sprinting, extending, and flexing at all the major joints that create movement. By breaking these movements down it can expose motor patterns that can be looked over by the untrained eye. The Deep Squat is the best way to help us know how to help athletes. The squatting movement is the most common in sports. We can see how an athlete bends, flex, and moves at all the major joints.
The Scoring System
We use the same scoring system as FMS. But MVP Training scores the deep squat a little differently and objectively than the FMS. We use a series of notes to help us score from 0-3. Each athlete starts with a perfect score. Then each note or acronym will subtract 1 point from the screen. For more great information on the screen and why its important go to http://functionalmovement.com/
0=injured and can’t perform
1=needs improvement (a point of emphasis in training)
2=good but can improve
A= Ankle. The athlete can’t keep their heels on the ground when they perform a squat
V=Valgus. Inward rotation of the knee and femur in a squatting motion
H=Hip. Unstable or tight hips
L=Lumbar. Overextended or over flexed lumbar spine
T=Thoracic. Thoracic spine is not in line with the rest of the spine
S=Shoulder. The athlete can’t keep the elbows extended and locked out or the arms aren’t in line with the spine.
The Solution to the Deep Squat Notes
Maybe your athlete didn’t get a perfect score on the Deep Squat. What are we, MVP Training, going to do about it? First please remember that these are motor patterns that have been created over several years of moving the wrong way. Expecting quick results is very unrealistic. We have to create our own “good” movements and try to eliminate the bad ones. So it takes time to correct this. And also because the athletes movement patterns have been “bad” over their life span of the athlete these movement patterns will often creep back up if the athlete doesn’t focus on the these areas of improvement. Here are some things that we do to help your athlete fix some of the dysfunctional motor patterns. First we must have a general understanding of the difference in male and female.
Generally male’s joints are stable but NOT mobile. So working on wide and longer range of motion (ROM) will help the athlete. So to correct some of the dysfunction of the male is to work on mobility, static stretching, and movements that are big and long instead of short and quick.
Generally female’s need stability and NOT mobility. To correct some of the female’s dysfunction we work on isometric holds and eccentric movements to stabilize the joints. We work on these movements everyday at MVP and the athlete will continue to improve at this.