PT on the Net Research

Profiles and Assessments


Question:

I’m looking for a battery of appropriate test procedures to implement so as to establish and develop a client's fitness profile involving: strength, balance, agility, speed, cardiorespiratory, cardiovascular, coordination, etc.

Answer:

As a reminder, a proper assessment needs to incorporate a static and dynamic postural and flexibility assessment in order to observe any gross imbalances that would restrict or alter normal movement patterns. By identifying muscle imbalances, you can more accurately address the client’s needs and goals. Once you have incorporated a comprehensive assessment, testing for specific needs requires specialized tests.

1. Beginning with strength, I have listed one exercise/assessment below.

2. When focusing on testing for balance, address dynamic posture with balance.

There are two tests you can use to determine balance and how they relate to muscular imbalances. A client’s ability to balance is directly related to his or her flexibility and neuromuscular control. The kinetic chain works as an integrated unit; therefore, when assessing a clients’ ability to balance, your are also assessing dysfunction. Listed below are two tests to use as well as a chart to help you better understand what you are looking for and ways and/or steps to correct imbalances.

3. Second balance test

For agility assessments, again there are two tests you can use to measure a client’s ability to move quickly while maintaining neuromuscular control. With these two tests, speed is a component.

4. There are three speed assessment tests

When assessing speed, I use three specific tests. The 40-yard dash, Flying 30m sprint and the 300 meter shuttle. Other tests will encompass speed; however, in these tests, the prime focus is on straight ahead speed.

5. Cardiorespiratory assessment is vastly different.

The guidelines for assessing cardiorespiratory fitness are vastly different than the tests shown above. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) lists a few test types for submaximal testing. These tests are the treadmill test, cycle ergometer test, stepping protocols and field tests. The most common of the tests listed is the Cooper field test. The Cooper 12-minute run/walk requires that the client cover as much distance as possible in 12 minutes. The test results are to be estimated as: VO2max (mL/kg/minute) = 3.126 x (meters covered in 12 minutes) – 11.3. These tests give a good general idea of a client’s overall cardiorespiratory fitness level.

References:

  1. American College of Sports Medicine, ACSM’s Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 4th edition. New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001.
  2. Clark, Micheal A.. NASM OPT: Optimum Performance Training for the Performance Enhancement Specialist. 2001.