Breaking Down the FMS – ASLR

IMG_0870A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the purpose of the Functional Movement Screen and why we screen you first before we train you. Over the next several weeks, I want to go a little deeper into each one of the seven movements and share:

  1. The purpose of each screen and what we are looking for.
  2. How it relates to your daily life and your training goals (get stronger, lose weight, feel better, etc.)
  3. What we do when the screen reveals a movement pattern that we want to address.

This week we are going to talk about the Active Straight Leg Raise (ASLR). While we are going to figure out really quickly if you have tight hamstrings using this screen, that is just one thing we are looking for. This simple assessment actually tells us quite a few things.

For instance, while we are assessing the mobility of the leg being lifted, we are also watching the bottom leg. We are looking to see if you have the ability to move one leg while keeping the other one still. The ASLR can also reveal issues with core stability.

Limited mobility or stability with the Active Straight Leg Raise can be caused by many factors. It may be because you sit at a desk all day which causes muscular imbalances. Genetics, age and sex can be factors. Unbalanced or inappropriate training over the long term can also contribute.

So what can we do about it? I am glad you asked!

As with all movement patterns we have three choices:

  1. We can train it, which in this gym is not an option.
  2. We can avoid it, which is appropriate at times.
  3. We can work on improving it, which is almost always appropriate. The exception is when there is pain, in which case we are going to refer you out to be evaluated by a qualified practitioner.

That’s why your personalized exercises are so important. We want you to be able to train at the highest level possible, but even more than that, we want you to remain injury free. You can’t train as hard or at all if you are injured, and if you aren’t training you, won’t reach your goals. Injury prevention first!

For instance, we know if we let you do Kettlebell Swings with a yellow band you are actually going to get worse, not better, so we do something else while we work on clearing the ASLR screen. It just makes sense!

Click these links for an example of one of the personalized exercises we would give some of our students to help improve the ASLR.

Bent Knee Leg Lowering (.pdf)

Bent Knee Leg Lowering (video)

We want you to improve as quickly as possible, so if you currently have a yellow band, practicing these is a great idea. As always, if you have any questions or need a coach to help you with this movement pattern, please let one of the coaching team know

Make it happen,

Coach Erin

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