Movement Assessments: Pushing/Pulling

July 1, 2017


Movement Assessments are a great tool that provide your trainer meaningful information about your body. This information is important to: 

            1. Enhance your functionality & overall performance and 

            2. Decrease any potential risk for injury. 


Here's the BIG question.... How are we able to gather SO MUCH IMPORTANT information about our bodies from a simple movement? 


To answer that question we have to first understand our "Kinetic-Chain"

We hear the term “Kinetic-Chain” a lot..... but do we really know what it means?


Defining the terminology of a word is KEY to understanding its meaning. 

Time for the Word Break-Down

     Kinetic: force transferred from joint to joint. 

     Chain: inter-connectiontion of all the joints in the body.  

**HMS or "Human Movement System" is an interchangeable term also commonly used**  


So, how does it all fit together? 


If Kinetic is the "force transferred from each joint" and Chain is the "connection of all the joints" ......                        THEN..... the Kinetic-Chain = The Human Movement System (HMS). 


We further identify this inter-connection by "kinetic-chain checkpoints”.

        AKA: major joint regions of the body. i.e. foot/ankle, lumbo/pelvic/hip (LPHC), knee, shoulders, head/cervical spine 


Why are Kinetic-chain checkpoints important to Movement Assessments? 

These check-points were developed to allow fitness professionals to analytically view the body during motion. Each joint is designed with a specific bio-mechanical motion that was created to optimize its function. This motion is dependent on the joints: 

      1. Anatomical structure and

      2. The structures/motions surrounding it. 

Observable compensation(s) are identified when alterations develop during the joints motion and can help to identify potential muscle imbalances and movement inefficiencies. 


Now lets break-down how to perform Pulling/Pushing Assessments.

The purpose of these exercises is to assess movement efficiency and potential muscle imbalances. 




 Steps: Push-up assessment


Performed slowly as a continuous and steady movement.

2-0-2 speed (2 sec. up, 0 sec. hold, 2 sec. down)


1.  Start in the prone position, hands shoulder-width apart, knees fully extended. (Modified version: perform with an exercise ball balanced underneath both legs) 


2.  Push against the floor to lift your upper body upwards. Keep neck straight, eyes looking in front, shoulders in-line with scapulae and protracted. Return to starting position.


3. 10 repetitions






Steps: Standing Row


Performed slowly as a continuous and steady movement.

2-0-2 speed (2 sec. up, 0 sec. hold, 2 sec. down).


1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing forward


2. Viewing from the side: pull handles toward your body and return to starting position. Lumbar and cervical spines should remain neutral while shoulders stay level


3. 10-20 reps in a controlled fashion

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