Clinical Pearls: The Squat with Kendra Toothill CAT(C), CSCS, NKT®, FMS

This week’s tip is written by our regular contributor, Kendra Toothill (@toothillperform). Here she discusses her strategy in assessing a patients’ squat and how to determine/deduce where the dysfunction or limitation is coming from. I know i’ll be using this with my patients from now on. Thanks Kendra! -Thomas

During the functional movement section of my assessment, I almost always include a simple squat. This gives me a lot of global clues to where mobility may be lacking and which muscle dysfunctions may be present. At a glance, the squat is assessing mobility of the spine, particularly the thoracic spine, the pelvis, the hips, the knees and the ankles (in the sagittal plane). Lack of mobility could be the cause of several things, for example it could be:

  • muscles tightness causing too much bony proximity
  • poor arthrokinematics,
  • poor alignment of their center of mass
  • lack of motor control
  • injury compensation patterns
  • insufficient stability elsewhere in the chain
  • disease

The list goes on. I have found one simple method to detect whether the lack of mobility is coming from the hip and whether the cause is poor arthrokinematics or muscle tightness within that hip socket. After they perform a normal squat several times, I ask them to lie on their back and bring their legs up as if they were performing a squat with their legs in the air. I note the differences in ROM and movement in this position vs. standing. Next I take both feet into my hand and push on the feet and act as the “ground” and push them into a deeper squat (if range was insufficient in first attempt). I note if a correct squat depth is achieved by me pushing on their feet and note the movement and ROM here.
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Clinical Pearls: The Single Leg Stance with Kendra Toothill CAT(C), CSCS, NKT®, FMS

This week’s tip is written by my old friend Kendra Toothill (@toothillperform). Here she discusses a quick 1 minute assessment strategy she uses on her patients’ by observing their movement during the one leg-stance. Great stuff to add into your daily practice ladies and gents — be sure to leave your comments/questions below. -Thomas

The Single-Leg stance is an important assessment tool I use with every client, primarily to determine potential dysfunctions of the lower body and hips (and even the upper body!). Starting my observation at the foot, I ask the patient to balance on one leg and observe for 20 to 30 seconds. After waiting 5 to 10 seconds, the patient will reach equilibrium which then opens up an opportunity to gauge the foot’s preferential position. [Read more…]