Functional Screening Tests For Ultimate Frisbee: Detecting Weaknesses & Imbalances

Hey Guys, So what I’m going to go over with you today are six screening tests for the lower quadrant and the upper quadrant… really good for any running type of sports especially Ultimate Frisbee or soccer, but particularly Ultimate Frisbee. So the first one is just a simple “One - leg balance” test. So you’re basically going to stand on one leg for 30 seconds and what you’re looking for are whether or not the knee is nice and stable and strong and if it buckles or not. If it buckles it means there is a bit of weakness in the hips and whether or not you’re really tipsy going to one side or the other. And you want to do that on both sides for 30 seconds. The second one is called the “Pistol Squat”. So basically with the pistol squat, it’s a little more progressive. Now you’re look at not only doing a one-leg balance but now you’re squatting down and all the way back up, and down, and you want to do that 5 times on each leg. Same thing… you want to see whether or not the knee is buckling or there’s a lot of loss of balance. And particularly important to see if there is a difference between right and left sides. The third one is a “Lateral Step Down”. So you need a little of a step ladder here or a step. And you’re going to just start off being at the top, and you want to step down 5 times, come back up; And what you’re looking for is on the step down whether or not that leg is really laterally rotated and the foot because it means something is going on in the hip or whether or not the knee buckles too when you like doing that… so the knee ends up doing this, so it means that there’s some weakness potentially. So you’re going to do 5 reps on each side. So that’s the third one. Now the fourth one is the one-legged bridge. With that one, you’re going to lie down flat and what you’re going to do is bring your hands right up onto your hips here. And then you’re going to bring your bum up nice and high, and lift one leg just up off of the ground. Now here I should be able to hold it here for at least 10 seconds. And then you’re going to switch over to the other side. And once again, you want to also look for any differences between the right and left sides… so if the hip starts to fall down and doesn’t stay level, right that’s what you’re looking for; And whether or not I’m digging the heels right in as opposed to the whole foot. Ok, so the fifth one are the “Planks”. So with the planks, you’re basically going to start off in a push up position, straighten out the legs, you’re going to hold that for 10 seconds, and what you’re looking for here is for the bum to not come up, so you want to keep it nice and level. And also more importantly for the upper quadrant, that the shoulders don’t sag and sink in and collapse. So those shoulder blades have got to be nice and strong but you’re not compensating by going way up here like that… right in neutral; And this a really good test for your core. Now that tests both the right and left sides of the arm and shoulder strength. So for the second part of the planks, you’re going to do side planks. You’re going to go down on one hand, and then you’re basically going to try and lift this hip and straighten out that arm and bring this hand on the hip, and hold that for 10 seconds. And what you’re looking for here is if there’s a lot of unsteadiness in that right side versus the left. And then come back down. And so yeah…. you want to test the other side as well. And the last one is just combining the lower quadrant with the upper quadrant mobility a little bit more. And so, it’s basically doing a “Pistol squat with full mobility with a reach up” for the shoulders. And basically, you’re doing a one-legged pistol squat with a full reach up 10 times on each side. And you want to look again once for any differences left and right because if you have a lot of like buckling in the knee, or if it’s really shaky on one side particularly more than the other then you’re thinking there may be some weaknesses happening, some deficiencies on one side more than the other. It can also help you see if there is potentially any other things maybe going on in terms of imbalances, like maybe there’s some inflexibility, and point you towards where there may be also some previous injuries where that may need to be addressed a little more. So, there you have it!

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