Screening for Stability

August 15, 2022
2 min read

Let’s See How Stacked Your Stability Is!

Before we even step foot on the training floor, we aim to have a good idea of where the athlete is from a movement standpoint, from mobility to stability. Focusing on the stability component, here at THP we test to see any limiters in stability with the Trunk Stability Push-Up and the Rotary Stability tests from Functional Movement Systems (FMS). Both tests are scored with a zero, one, two, or three. A score of three indicates levels of optimal stability, a score of two indicates acceptable levels of stability, a score one indicates stability needs improvement, and a score of zero indicates there was pain with the movement. Below we dive into conducting and scoring each test specifically.

Trunk Stability Push-Up

The Trunk Stability Push-Up gives us an overall insight to their core stability, or how well someone can connect their upper body to their lower body. When we have optimal core stability, it allows us to be more efficient in wide variety of areas relating to athleticism. A couple of examples include changing directions without falling over or becoming more efficient in the athlete's running stride. To get in position for this test, the athlete is going to lie face down, feet together and toes under. There are two different positions for the hands, depending on gender. If the athlete is a male, position one will be at their eyebrow level for testing the highest level of stability, and position two will be at the chin level if position one cannot be performed sufficiently. If a female is being tested, position one will be at chin level for testing the highest level of stability, and position two will be at clavicle or collarbone level if position one cannot be performed sufficiently. In addition, the hands will be shoulder width apart.

To initiate the test, the athlete will dig their toes into the ground, create tension in their core, raise the elbows up, and attempt to press themselves off the ground while moving the body as one unit. This test looks at whether a person has enough core stability to move as one unit. Some common faults seen across this test. are the upper body leading and the lower body following or vice versa. If the athlete can express good trunk stability  position one, then they score a three. If they canexpress good trunk stability at position two, then a two. If they cannot express good trunk stability, then it is a one.

Lastly, a lumbar extension clearance check is conducted to see if they have any pain. If the person has any pain with the this lumbar extension movement, they are given a score of zero.

Rotary Stability

Next, let's look at the Rotary Stability test. This is a good indicator of the athlete’s core stability around the midline, or if they can connect one side of their body while allowing movement on the other side. Having optimal rotary stability will allow the athlete to express true power in their golf swing or their baseball swing. To start this test, the athlete will assume a quadruped position. Their knees will be under the hips and their toes down, and their wrists will be under the shoulders. Next, they will be instructed to shift over to stabilize one side, touch their same side hand to their same side ankle, extend the arm and the leg, and then come back to the starting quadruped position under control. If the athlete can complete the test under control, then they are scored a three. If the athlete can complete the test but not under control, then they are scored a two. If they cannot complete the test fluidly, then they are scored a one.

There is also a lumbar flexion clearance check associated with the Rotary Stability test. If the athlete has any pain with this test, then they are given a score of zero.

Getting an idea of the athlete’s core stability on the front end allows us to identify if they are already sufficiently strong in their stability or if this is a key area for improvement. Moreover, it also allows us to keep them safe on the training floor and create a more appropriate pathway for development.

If you're curious about how stacked your stability is, reach out to us to schedule a Performance Assessment! We will look at your core and rotary stability, as well as your other movement patterns, to reveal your body's current readiness and ultimately direct you on optimizing your performance.


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