New Year New You


New Year New You

Screening, Goal Setting, Programming, Periodization

Through January we are going to have a look at some positive actions you can take to make version 2018 the best yet.

Have a body screen

Do you know how your body moves? Many factors can have impact on your body and how it’s able to move possibly creating modified postures and inefficient movement patterns 11. The effect of these can be discomfort, pain and potentially injury in the worst case 7.

Postural assessments and movement screens can identify these modifications 7,15. This process requires observation of static standing and several movements depending on the system undertaken by the professional 7,11,13,14. These screens have been found to assist in the prediction of injury, e.g. if adverse posture and/or movement is seen, that can be predispose the individual to injury in sports or physical activity 3,4,8,10. A little disclaimer however, whilst assessments have been shown to assist in the prediction of injury, injuries can still occur even if the assessment show very little.

You’ve been screened and been told several ‘movements/muscles/joints’ are ‘tight/weak/inactive/restricted’. So what? The next step is to address the issues that have arisen through an effective exercise program 7,15. After a period of following the exercise program (say 6-8 weeks) a repeat of the postural assessment and movement screen should be performed to see its effect on the body 9. It should be noted there is no one size fits all perfect posture. Every individual has slightly different bone sizes and attachment points and so moves slightly differently. However, there are more efficient postures and movement patterns that can be related to all.

Set SMART Goals

You’ve meet a coach who has screened your posture and movement, they’ve explained what it means, but where do you go next? It’s time now to set some SMART goals. You may have approached a coach because you already have a specific goal in mind. Or you may have a generic ideally of being fitter and healthier that needs refining.

Setting a goal will increase your chances of achieving what you want. The SMART acronym is business model that has been applied to sport with great success 9.

Specific- specify what the goal is, for example to run 5k, shed one clothing size, lift your bodyweight in a squat.

Measureable- the end goal must be measurable, for example 5k can, one clothing size and lifting weight can all be measured accurately. This gives an end to the process.

Actions- the process needed to reach that goal. Essentially the program needed to achieve your goal which may include lifestyle and nutrition modifications, and an exercise plan.

Realistic- taking into consideration your current ability the goal must be attainable with some element of challenge. Too hard or easy and motivation will drop off quickly.

Time- provide a time frame that is realistic to achieve your goal. This can include being realistic with time for the actions and the total timeframe for main goal.

The setting of a main goal (outcome goal) and the actions to achieve the goal (process goal) has been found to increase motivation and adherence to exercising 16. It is also important to share the goal with friends who will show support throughout the whole process 2.

End result is exercising consistently to achieve your goal being healthier and fitter in life. Next the pathway to achieving this goal needs to be planned.

Planning the exercise program

You’ve been screened and decided on a SMART goal, now it’s time to plan your exercise program. This is a process known as Periodization 1. There has been lots of mystery around periodization. In basic terms, it is breaking down a big goal into smaller goals (monthly) and then making those smaller goals into even smaller goals (weekly/daily).

Lets look at an example:

Each of the phases has a goal, in the example they are running based as that is the main goal. There would be sub goals in the strength. Each session can be planned in that phase aiming towards achieving the phase goal. This gives a clear recordable path to reaching the main goal 6.

Planning is great. A clear understanding of what is expected allows more concentration on the work in the session. HOWEVER, this should be a fluid document. Injuries and illnesses are a fact of life, as are all kinds of events that may mean you must miss a session. Having to modify a week in a plan may not be too disastrous. On a short plan like the example a week may be a little set back, but modifying the sessions after can bring it back up to speed. More than a week you may have to reassess the end goal. The longer the plan, the more events will get in the way and sessions will have to change. This modification is made easier because you have planned.

Plan is created with 6 weeks to achieve the set goal. Now the hardest part, carry out the plan and stick to it. With so many differing ideas and training programs available the internet and social media is swamped with snippets that can cause doubt. Trust the planning that has been created from the goal setting and stick to your plan.

Goal Success

You’ve had the postural assessment and movement screen, laid out a SMART goal, planned how you will achieve that goal through periodisation, carried out the program and should then be revelling in the glory of achieving your goal.

If you would like more information please contact us.


1.Bompa, T. 1999. Periodization: Theory and methodology of training. 4th Ed. Champaign, IL; Human Kinetics.

2.Cadmus-Bertram, L., Irwin, M., Alfano, C., Campbell, K., Duggan, C., Foster-Schubert, K., Wang, C., and McTiernan, A. 2014. Predicting adherence of adults to a 12-month exercise intervention. Journal of physical activity and health, 11, 1304-1312.

3.Dorrel, B.S., Long, T., Shaffer, S., and Myer, G.D. 2015. Evaluation of the functional movement screen as an injury prediction tool among active adult populations: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Athletic training, 7(6), 532-537.

4.Garrison, M., Westrick, R., Johnson, M.R., and Benenson, J. 2015. Association between the functional movement screen and injury development in college athletes. The international journal of sports physic therapy, 10(1), 21-28.

5.Harries, S.K., Lubans, D.R., and Callister, R. 2015. Systematic review and meta-analysis of linear and undulating periodized resistance training programs on muscular strength. Journal of strength and conditioning, 29(4), 1113-1125.

6.Hartmann, H., Wirth, K., Keiner, M., Mickel, C., Sander, A., and Szilvas, E. 2015. Short-term periodization models: Effects on strength and speed-strength performance. Sports Medicine,45(10), 1373-1386.

7.King, M.A. 2007. Assessment of lower extremity posture: Qualitative and quantitative clinical skills. Athletic therapy today, 12(2), 2-7.

8.Krumrei, K., Flanagan, M., Bruner, J., and Durall, C. 2014. The accuracy of the functional movement screen to identify individuals with an elevated risk of musculoskeletal injury. Journal of sport rehabilitation, 23, 360-364.

9.McDonald, S.M., and Trost, S.G. 2015. The effects of a goal setting intervention on aerobic fitness in middle school students. Journal of teaching in physical education, 34, 576-587.

10.Minthorn, L.M., Fayson, S.D., Stobierski, L.M., Welch, C.E., and Anderson, B.E. 2015. The functional movement screens ability to detect changes in movement patterns after a training intervention. Journal of sport rehabilitation, 24, 322-326.

11.Page, P., Frank, C.C., Lardner, R. 2010. Assessment and treatment of muscle imbalance: The Janda approach. Champaign, IL; Human Kinetics.

12.Phil, P., Frank, C.C., and Lardner, R. Assessment and treatment of muscle imbalances. 2010. Human Kinetics; Chicago, IL.

13.Rosario, J.L. 2014. Biomechanical assessment of human posture: A literature review. Journal of bodywork movement therapies, 18(2), 368-373

14.Shultz, R., Anderson, S.C., Matheson, G.O., Marcello, B., and Beiser, T. 2013. Test-retest and interrater reliability of the functional movement screen. Journal of athletic training, 48(3), 331-336.

15.Thigpen, C.A., and Padua, D.A. 2006. Assessment of shoulder-girdle posture in overhead athletes. Athletic therapy today, 11(6), 42-46.

16.Wilson, K., and Brookfield, D. 2009. Effect of goal setting on motivation and adherence in a six-week exercise program. International journal of sports and exercise psychology, 6, 89-100.