How S&C coaches can assess thoracic spine & upper extremity mobility [blog post]

Howe, Louis ORCID logo ORCID: (2019) How S&C coaches can assess thoracic spine & upper extremity mobility [blog post]. SimpliFaster [website] . (Unpublished)

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As mobility is a key physical quality that underpins most athletic movements, strength and conditioning coaches must possess the skill set and tools to assess it. Conventionally, range of motion (ROM) tests have been performed using specialized equipment such as inclinometers and goniometers. To make the execution of these tests even more challenging for coaches, many ROM assessments require exceptional palpatory skills. This has resulted in many resources suggesting an approach to mobility testing that employs a pass-fail criterion (e.g., if an athlete can’t touch their toes during a toe-touch test, they fail the test). Yet, this method of assessing mobility has major limitations. If an athlete fails the standard set, we have obviously identified a deficiency is present—this is where a pass-fail criterion for a ROM assessment is applicable. However, if we want to monitor the effectiveness of our training intervention and identify what strategies actually develop mobility, we need assessment techniques that provide objective data that is accurate and reliable. The goal of this two-part article series is to demonstrate that neither the availability of equipment nor the palpatory skills a practitioner possesses should prevent coaches from collecting objective data. Part 1 of this series demonstrated how to perform mobility assessments for the lower extremity. In part 2 (this article), I will focus on mobility tests for the thoracic spine and upper extremity, showing techniques using only a smartphone or tape measure.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: SimpliFaster [website]
Departments: Academic Departments > Medical & Sport Sciences (MSS) > Sports and Physical Activity
Additional Information: Louis Howe has been coaching international level athletes since 2007, and previously worked for one of London’s top university elite athlete scholarship programs. He currently lectures for the University of Cumbria on the Sport Rehabilitation program. Prior to this position, Howe lectured for the Strength and Conditioning undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at St Mary’s University, where he also provided strength and conditioning services to a group of international track and field athletes. Howe is an accredited strength and conditioning coach with the U.K. Strength and Conditioning Association and is currently completing his Ph.D., investigating compensatory movement strategies derived from ankle dorsiflexion range of motion restrictions during landings.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2019 12:11
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 10:01


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