Two great tests you should be using…

Ingrid Marcum

In a recent interview with Leigh Peele, she asked me what tests we use in our assessments at I-FAST.  Obviously, we use quite a few – but if you only had two tests, what would they be?

That’s a tough question to answer, but the two tests I came up with are the overhead squat and the push-up.  Here’s why.

The overhead squat gives you a ton of information on lower extremity functon and health.  You can examine someone’s ankle, hip and T-spine mobility, lumbar spine stability, if they are quad dominant, where their stiffness lies, and a host of other things.  Quite simply, with one test you get a ton of feedback that can improve your programming for any client.

The push-up is a great test as well.  You can determine certain core imbalances, how stable their scapulae is, and get a basic idea of their strength and endurance levels to boot.

In an ideal world, you have more time to assess a client and you don’t have to rely on the results of two tests, but the overhead squat and push-up will give you a lot of great feedback.

If you want to learn how to develop your own testing and assessment protocols, check out Bill Hartman’s presentation in the Indy Seminar Series DVD’s.  If you want something a little bit more straight-forward, check out Eric Cressey and my presentations in the Building the Efficient Athlete DVD series.

So now I pass the question on to you – if you could only use two tests in your assessment, what would they be?  And why?

Stay strong



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  1. Funny, I am actually in the process of developing a Strength and Conditioning program for a Division I baseball program. They currently don't use any evaluation besides max leg press, med ball throws, pull ups and leg press at 450 lbs.
    I planed on using the OH Squat for thoracic extension evaluation as well as flexibility issues. As for a second test in this population, I think I'm leaning towards the single leg triple jump to measure asymmetries in the lower body.
    Thanks for all your great work MR!

  2. Josh –
    Great answer! I really like repeated power tests like this as well.
    With baseball guys, definitely keep an eye on their shoulder rotation levels as well. I'm sure you've read it before, but if not, check out Eric Cressey's material on the topic. He knows shoulders!
    Good luck!

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