One of the aspects of the Functional Stability Training programs 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.
How to Assess Alignment by Looking at the Hamstrings
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.
If you want to really learn more about these concepts, you should check out Eric Cressey and I’s Functional Stability Training for the Lower Body. The video above is from this program. If you’re serious about starting to integrate functional rehab and training, Eric and I’s system will show you what we do.