Rachael Recommends || Sept. 2022

Posted by Rachael McDonald on September 27, 2022

In early August I had one of our trainers here at Fitness Collective perform a postural assessment on me. A postural assessment entails a comprehensive full body visual and manual test for imbalances in body alignment, and in muscle tension and strength. Though all practitioners have a slightly different "checklist" of what they look for, and method to perform them, here's a helpful article and video to give some context to the scope of a postural assessment. Mine took an hour. In that time, the trainer discovered many imbalances. She then proceeded to offer solutions to help improve them. What I gained from this experience was invaluable. 


Early in the year 2020 I experienced a serious back injury. Though it took a full year for the pain to subside, my injury still affects my body. Since recovering from the chronic pain, but body has still not recovered the strength I once had prior to the injury. From my experience as a trainer, I knew the cause of this must stem from some sort of muscular strength or tension imbalance. I postulated that if I could discover and improve my imbalances, my body would be "primed" to push load again and to make further progress toward recovering the strength I lost. At this realization, I scheduled the postural assessment. 


Here is what my trainer discovered about my body through her exam:

  • My left hip was higher than my right hip.
  • When standing "straight," my hips rotate toward the right.
  • My quadriceps muscles (on the front of the thigh) were much too tight when compared to the hamstrings and glutes (muscles on the back of the body and thighs).
  • My left knee rotates slightly in.
  • I have slight forward head posture (my head comes forward).
  • The curvature of my spine is good but not ideal.


There were even a few more discoveries she found, but these are the high points. For each of these "imbalances" she prescribed either stretches or exercises to work on improving and correcting them. They were all simple and quick things I could work into normal workouts or do at home.

Since following the plan and prescription she gave me, I have already seen marked improvements in my strength. Previously, if I were to push my load during certain exercises, I would experience pain. Now this is happening less and less and at higher and higher loads. I plan to continue to work in these exercises/stretches and follow up with another assessment in one to two months to re-check and make sure I am still on the right path. 


I would highly recommend a postural assessment for anyone who:

  • Has a current nagging injury or pain 
  • Has had chronic pain 
  • Has never had a postural assessment before
  • Is concerned about injury prevention 


If this piqued your interest, here is a video (and transcript) that expresses more reasons why this type of body assessment is beneficial. If you live near a Fitness Collective gym community, you can schedule your own postural assessment for the same treatment. Click the Contact Us button to inquire on availability and pricing!


Happy Fall, everyone! I will "see" you again next month for another Rachael Recommends!

In health,

Rachael