A fitness test, also known as a fitness assessment, is comprised of a series of exercises that help evaluate your overall health and physical status. There is wide of range of standardized tests used for these exams, some of which are intended for medical purposes and others of which establish whether you are qualified to participate in a particular sport.
For general health and fitness purposes, the tests are considered the starting point for designing an appropriate training program. They are meant to ensure you won’t be at risk of harm and provide the trainer with the insights needed to establish clear and effective goals.
What is Biomechanical Analysis?
Biomechanics is the study of human motion. The study of biomechanics is important when determining what your body is capable of doing and how it can be trained to do it differently. It is also used to determine what causes injuries and therefore how we can prevent them occurring or re-occurring.
Our coaches and trainers are highly skilled and are degreed kinesiologist. Kinesiology is the scientific study of human body movement. It addresses physiological, biomechanical, and psychological dynamic principles and mechanisms of movement.
Biomechanical analysis can involve:
- gait analysis – study of your walking pattern.
- running analysis – study of your running style.
- video analysis or motion capture analysis.
- sports biomechanics – sport specific analysis.
- biomechanics of running, sprinting, throwing etc.
General Health Evaluation
Before starting a fitness program, it is important to share your medical history with your trainer and to get the necessary approvals from your doctor to proceed.
Our trainers and coaches will use one or more screening tool to help determine your baseline health. This may include obtaining vital sign measurements such as your height, weight, resting heart rate, and resting blood pressure.
We will also use a physical activity readiness questionnaire (PAR-Q) comprised of seven or more questions related to your general health. Among the questions, you may be asked about the types of medications you take, any problems you have with dizziness or pain, or any medical condition that may impair your ability to exercise.
Body Composition Testing
Body composition describes the different components that make up your total body weight, including your muscles, bones, and fat. The most common methods for estimating body composition include:
- Body mass index (BMI), a generalized calculation of body fat based on your height and weight
- Skinfold measurements in which calipers are used to estimate how much body fat there is in a fold of skin
- Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) in which electrical signals are sent from electrodes through the soles of your feet to your abdomen to estimate your body composition5
Cardiovascular Endurance Testing
Cardiovascular endurance testing, also known as stress testing, measures how efficiently your heart and lungs work to supply oxygen and energy to your body during physical activity.6
Among the three most common tests used:
- 12-minute run tests are performed on a treadmill and compare your pre-exercise heart and respiration rates with your post-exercise heart and respiration rates.
- VO2 max testing is performed on a treadmill or stationary bike and uses a breathing device to measure your maximum rate of oxygen consumption during an activity.
- Exercise stress testing is also performed on a treadmill or stationary bike and involves the use of a heart monitor and blood pressure cuff to measure your vital signs during exercise.
Our trainers will incorporate exercises to get a qualitative measurement of how you respond to specific exercises. These baseline results can be used at a later date to see if your health and fitness levels have improved.
Strength and Endurance Testing
Strength testing measures the maximal amount of force a muscle group can exert at one time. Muscle endurance testing, by comparison, measures the length of time a muscle group can contract and release before it fatigues.
Strength and endurance tests are valuable as they help the trainer pinpoint which muscle groups are stronger and which are vulnerable and in need of focused attention.
Measuring the flexibility of your joints is vital in determining whether you have postural imbalances, foot instability, or limitations in your range of motion.
There are a variety of tests used to measure flexibility. Among them:
- Sit-and-reach testing is used to measure tightness in your lower back and hamstring muscles. The test is performed while sitting on the floor with your legs fully extended. Flexibility is measured by the number of inches your hands are from your feet when reaching forward.
- Shoulder flexibility testing, sometimes called the zipper test, evaluates the flexibility and mobility of your shoulder joint. It involves reaching behind your neck and between your shoulders with one hand while reaching behind your back and toward your shoulders with the other. Flexibility is measured by how many inches apart your hands are from each other.
- Trunk lift testing is used to measure tightness in your lower back. It is performed while lying face-down on the floor. With your arms at your side, you would be asked to lift your upper body with just your back muscles. Flexibility is measured by how many inches you are able to lift yourself off the ground.
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