The personal training industry has hundreds of training methods and modalities. If you become a personal trainer, you can branch off and coach people in all sorts of directions. For instance, you can coach athletics and sports, weight loss, mobility, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, and the list goes on from there. Similarly, a personal trainer will use all sorts of assessments and movement screens to see how their clients move. There’s the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), and more. However, nothing compares to the Functional Range Assessment (FRA).
The FRA is an innovative system that helps individuals optimize their movement capabilities and prevent injuries. This comprehensive guide will delve into the principles and benefits of FRA, how it can improve your overall health and well-being, and how you can incorporate it into your daily life. By understanding and applying the principles of the FRA, you can unlock your body’s full potential and enjoy a life filled with greater mobility, flexibility, and reduced risk of injury.
What is The Functional Range Assessment?
The Functional Range Assessment (FRA) is a scientific approach to evaluating an individual’s joint health and movement capabilities. Developed by Dr. Andreo Spina, the FRA aims to identify areas of joint dysfunction, limitations in range of motion, and potential for injury. By assessing an individual’s joint capacity, the FRA system can provide targeted recommendations to restore proper joint function, optimize movement, and mitigate future injuries.
The Principles of The FRA
The FRA is based on the principles of joint health, functional movement, and injury prevention. The primary goals of the FRA are to:
- Assess an individual’s joint function and movement capabilities.
- Identify any limitations or restrictions in joint mobility.
- Develop targeted interventions to improve joint function and movement quality.
- Monitor progress and adjust interventions as needed to ensure optimal outcomes.
These principles are applied through a systematic approach to assessment, intervention, and ongoing monitoring.
The Components of The Functional Range Assessment
A comprehensive FRA consists of several components, including:
- Joint-by-joint assessment. Evaluating the mobility, stability, and motor control of each joint in the body. This is what makes the FRA so comprehensive. We’re not just going to look at your squat; we’ll see how you move joints like your ankles, toes, wrists, and more.
- Passive and active range of motion testing. This includes measuring your ability to move your joints through their full range of motion, both passively (with assistance) and actively (without assistance).
- Isometric strength testing (if needed). Assessing your ability to generate force in specific joint positions.
- Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) analysis. Finally, we’ll look at how your joints move through their greatest range of motion possible. Below is an example of what CARs look like.
By combining these components, the FRA system can provide a comprehensive picture of your joint health and movement capabilities.
The Benefits of Functional Range Assessment
Improved Joint Health
One of the primary benefits of the FRA is the improvement of joint health. By identifying areas of joint dysfunction and implementing targeted interventions, we can restore proper joint function and prevent the development of chronic pain or injury. This is particularly important for those who engage in regular physical activity or have a history of joint pain, as maintaining optimal joint health is crucial for long-term well-being.
The FRA can also help improve athletic performance by optimizing movement patterns. By identifying any limitations or compensations in functional movement, targeted interventions can be developed to address these issues, leading to improved efficiency and effectiveness during physical activity. This can result in increased strength, power, and endurance, as well as a reduced risk of injury.
One of the main goals of the FRA is to identify potential areas of injury risk and implement interventions to prevent injuries from occurring. By assessing an individual’s joint health and movement capabilities, the FRA can help identify areas of weakness, tightness, or instability that may contribute to injury. By addressing these issues through targeted interventions, individuals can reduce their risk of injury and maintain a high level of physical activity.
The FRA provides a personalized approach to improving joint health and movement capabilities. By assessing an individual’s unique movement patterns and joint function, the FRA can develop targeted interventions specific to their needs. This allows for a more efficient and effective approach to improving joint health, as opposed to generic exercise programs that may not address an individual’s specific limitations or restrictions.
Incorporating The Functional Range Assessment into Your Routine
Find a Qualified Professional
The first step in incorporating the FRA into your routine is to find a qualified professional certified in Functional Range Assessment. At Motive Training, we have four personal trainers certified to do the FRA. If you’re not local to Grand Rapids, MI, or Austin, TX, we recommend using the FRC directory to find an FRA professional in your area.
Schedule Your Assessment
Once you have found a qualified FRA professional, schedule an initial assessment to evaluate your joint health and movement capabilities. The FRA typically runs for two hours because it’s thorough, and we don’t want to cut corners on your health. So, make sure you prepare ahead of time for a long but informative session with us or another FRA provider.
Implement Targeted Interventions
Following your assessment, your FRA professional will develop a personalized intervention plan. This may include targeted mobility exercises, strength training, motor control drills, or other interventions designed to improve joint function and movement quality.
Monitor Progress and Adjust as Needed
As you work through your personalized intervention plan, it is essential to monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed. Your FRA professional can provide ongoing assessments to ensure that your interventions are effective and modify your plan as necessary to ensure optimal outcomes. For instance, our staff at Motive Training will often record videos or take pictures of ranges of motion to see how things are changing. You can view some of those testimonials here.
Additional Tips for Optimizing Your Functional Range Assessment Experience
- Be patient. Improving joint health and movement capabilities takes time and consistent effort. So stick with your intervention plan and trust the process.
- Communicate with your FRA professional. Keep your FRA professional informed of any changes in your symptoms, progress, or concerns. They can help adjust your plan as needed to ensure the best possible outcomes.
- Practice good self-care. In addition to your FRA interventions, prioritize sleep, nutrition, and stress management to support overall health and well-being.
- Stay consistent. Regularly incorporate your FRA interventions into your routine to maintain and improve your joint health and movement capabilities.
We’ve been doing FRAs for four years now, and it’s an invaluable tool for optimizing joint health, enhancing performance, and mitigating injury. Don’t go through the rigamarole of doing pointless movement screens or assessments that aren’t based on science. Book your first FRA today and never look back.
Brian Murray, FRSC, FRA
Founder of Motive Training
Do you have achy or painful joints? Do specific exercises or movements feel foreign to you? Then, sign up for an FRA today.