Want a pretty simple test that can give you a good idea where you may have some stability or mobility issues? Try the overhead squat. No, you don’t need to be able to hold a 45lb Olympic bar over your head. All you need is some type of wooden dowel or broomstick. Get in a standing position with your feet about shoulder width apart and toes straight ahead. Place the broomstick directly overhead with your hands a bit wider than shoulder width. From this position drop down into your deepest possible squat position while trying to keep that broomstick directly overhead.
So what does this simple test asses? A number of things:
- calf flexibility and ankle mobility
- thoracic extension
- shoulder mobility
- core stability
- hip mobility
A couple of examples. If your heels come up off the floor as you descend into the squat position, this may be indication of poor calf flexibility or ankle mobility. If your toes rotate out as you descend, this may indicate tightness in the external rotators of your hip or the peroneal muscles of your lower leg. If your knees buckle in, you may be lacking poor glute medius or VMO strength. If the broomstick falls forward, poor shoulder mobility is usually indicated. If your chest collapses on top of your knees, you may be lacking sufficient core stability.
Now after getting the results from this simple move I know where there may be mobility or stability issues. If I know where there are mobility or stability issues, now I know what to focus on within the training program or what exercises should be included.
Never thought a broomstick could be so useful, did you?