Screening tool helps everyone from athletes to seniors check for physical limitations

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A training tool that has helped athletes, firefighters and soldiers check physical capabilities is now being used to assess seniors. (KABC)

Bob Newmark has been training with Santa Monica Bay Club's Marc Natividad for four years now.

"I need the discipline and also I get a better workout with him then I do on my own," said Newmark.

Natividad put Newmark through a functional movement screening to look for any limitations.

"Every person gets an assessment before I train them. It gives us a template to work with," said Natividad, who is a level-three trainer at the Bay Club in Santa Monica.

Unlike tests that count repetitions or weight lifted, the focus is on stability and mobility.

Balance, coordination, flexibility and core strength all decline as we age so if you or your trainer can find a key area that you need to work on, it will really help you stay on your game.

"There's almost nobody that doesn't have something as they progress in age that doesn't need to be adjusted or strengthened," said Charlie Larsen, Bay Club personal trainer.

A squat with an overhead raise looks at hip, knee and ankle mobility. Stepping up on a step then down does too, but it also checks the right versus left side of the body.

An in-line lunge analyses both hip and ankle stability along with thigh flexibility, while a common pushup, even when modified, reveals trunk stability.

"We get inflexible, we lose our balance. Balance is critical in everybody in every sport," said Natividad.

Natividad uses a straight-leg raise to test hamstring and calf while checking to see if the pelvis is stable.

"If you're tight, tight doesn't get loose by doing things you think you should do. You are more susceptible to injury," said Natividad.

Aging might mean modifying activities, but it doesn't mean ignoring challenges altogether.

Related Topics:
healthfood coachfitnessexerciseseniorstestseducationCircle of HealthSanta MonicaLos Angeles County
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