Did your static posture check go well? If you don’t know what I am talking about, then go back here to see. Now on to part two of the assessment– the overhead squat.
Dynamic Posture Assessment
Your ability to perform an overhead squat can reveal a lot about your structural and functional strengths/weaknesses. As we talked about before, the focus is on the kinetic chain (feet, knees, hips, shoulders, head).
One imperfection in the chain causes problems elsewhere, which is why it is important to understand and identify the significance of static postural imbalances before moving to the dynamic.
Stand up– now. Stand up, force the arches of your feet into the ground, and then look at your knees. Notice how they move towards each other when the function and structure of the ankle & foot are slightly compromised. Now imagine the amount of extensive wear and tear that is being endured by someone’s body over weeks, months, or years when suffering from that imbalance. What other parts of the kinetic chain are affected?
How to Perform the Overhead Squat Assessment
The purpose of the overhead squat is to assess balance, core strength, neuromuscular control, and dynamic flexibility.
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart with good static posture– no tilts or leans, just a neutral, relaxed stance.
- Extend arms above head, palms facing out, as if you are hanging under a bar. There should be a line from the fingertips to the heels.
The squat should be looked at from the side (lateral) and anterior (front).
- With arms above head, act as though you are sitting into a chair; you do not need to go farther than that.
- Repeat movement with control 5 times. Record the movement or have have friend record it for you.
What to Look for and Record
Anterior (front) View
- Do the feet flatten/ sink towards the midline of the body? Do the feet turn out?
- Do the knees move inward? There should be a straight line from the ankles through the knees.
Lateral (side) View
- When looking at the hips, is there an excessive forward lean? Is there an extensive arch in the lower back? The tibia (shin) and back should be close to parallel if you draw lines through them.
- Are the arms falling forward? You should be able to draw a line from the fingers to the bottom.
After reviewing the image above and the information I presented, what am I doing right? What is an area I may need some work on?
Be on the look out for the next post, which will look at correctional exercises and stretches we can do if we find large imbalances or issues.