I have been officially using the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) for over a year now to evaluate where my clients are in their training and to verify their progression. I have found it to be a very useful tool for me but I felt that something was missing in my evaluation method and that is where I have discovered the “Y Balance Test” with the help of the functional movement website. It has helped me to measure another aspect of training, which is motor control, control of your body when moving.
What’s great about the YBT is that it gives me numbers that I can compare to a baseline, just like a thermometer that tells me if you are healthy or if you are sick. The YBT gives me the big picture and tells me what are the terms of action I should be doing and how fast.
The YBT divides the body in quarters and sheds some light on how the core reacts to each extremity under your own body weight. The test gives me information on the Lower Quarter (right and left) and the Upper Quarter (right and left).
The YBT allows me to quantify your dynamic balance, which requires strength, flexibility (range of motion), neuromuscular control, core stability and proprioception (the ability to know where your body is in space).
It is important to start training at the level of fitness that you are in. Those numbers give me that information and also allow me to see your progress. They highlight the severity of your asymmetries, your deficits and the probability of you getting injured if you ignore the results and do not start taking care of yourself.
A failure in the YBT can be caused by a lack of stability or mobility in the foot, ankle (dorsiflexion clearing test), knee, hip and spine. It can also be caused by a lack of strength and or coordination anywhere in the limb or spine.
This test can be used for a lot of things and anyone can do the YBT as long as they can balance on one foot for a minimum of 10 seconds. If you know your numbers, it will help you in staying in your sport longer, injury free if you act accordingly. It is also a great measuring tool of the result of a total hip replacement. The YBT give me the power to let you know if you are ready to come back to sport or if you should still work on your limitations prior to coming back.
Let me know if you have any questions on the FMS or the YBT, you can also see the following YouTube videos to find out what the test is all about.
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