How Old Is Your Body Really? Find Out In 7 Moves
Find out with this quick and easy at-home test based on the Thrive assessment originally developed by Gray Cook, cocreator of the Functional Movement Screen. Our word of warning: Prepare to be humbled.
What you’ll need: Masking tape, a 4-foot dowel (a broomstick works), and a doorway (32″ to 36″ wide)
How to do it: Follow the directions for each fitness screening. If you can do the move correctly, and without any pain, you pass that test. For each screen that you flunk, add 3 to 5 years to your current age to get your “movement age.” (If you find that your movement age isn’t what you thought, consider adding strength training to your routine withPrevention’s Fit In 10 DVD. In just 10 minutes a day, you can transform your body!)
1. Deep Squat
Place strip of tape on floor in middle of door frame. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead and in line with tape. Hold dowel overhead. Descend into full squat. Return to starting position.
You pass if… You can lower into a deep squat (thighs parallel to floor) while keeping dowel overhead, toes forward, and heels on floor.
You fail if… You feel pain, your heels lift, the dowel tips forward, or you can’t lower into the full squat (signs that you’re lacking hip and ankle mobility).
2. Hurdle Step
Stretch strip of tape across doorway so it’s in line with bump just below kneecap. Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes beneath tape, and dowel behind neck and across shoulders. Balancing on left foot, bend right knee and lift sole of right foot over tape. Hold 5 seconds. Lower foot back to start. Repeat on opposite side.
You pass if… Your lifted foot doesn’t touch tape and chest remains lifted.
You fail if… You feel pain, your shoulders tip forward, your foot touches tape, or you sway side-to-side (signs that your hips are tight).
3. Active Straight-Leg Raise
Lie on back with palms up and head flat on floor, right side of body next to door frame. (Midpoint between hip and knee is in line with door frame.) Slowly raise right leg above hip. Repeat on opposite side.
You pass if… Anklebone of lifted leg clears doorjamb and floor-bound leg does not move.
You fail if… You feel pain or cannot raise your lifted leg past the door frame (signs that you’re lacking hip mobility).
4. Rotary Stability
Start on all fours, knees under hips and palms under shoulders. Slowly bend right arm and lift left knee, bringing right elbow and left knee to touch under center of torso. From here, slowly extend right arm at shoulder height and left leg at hip height while retaining balance. Repeat on opposite side.
You pass if… You’re able to touch knee to elbow easily, without losing your balance.
You fail if… You feel any pain, your elbow and knee don’t connect, or you lose your balance at any point during the move (signs that your core is weak).
5. Inline Lunge
You pass if… Your feet remain on tape and point straight ahead throughout movement. Upper body remains straight and still.
You fail if… You feel any pain, your torso tips forward, you lose your balance, or you cannot easily bring your back knee to the floor (signs that your ankle and hips joints are lacking mobility and that your core is weak).
You pass if… You can complete the motion easily and without pain. Hips and shoulders remain in one long line.
You fail if… You can’t lift your body off the floor at all, when you’re in plank position your hips sag toward the floor, or if you feel any pain in your low back or shoulders (signs of poor core strength).
7. Seated Rotation
Sit in cross-legged position between door frame, holding dowel behind neck and across shoulders. Slowly rotate to one side, keeping back straight. Pause, then slowly return to center and repeat twist to opposite side.
You pass if… You can rotate far enough that each end of the dowel touches the door frame on both sides.
You fail if… You feel pain or one end of dowel doesn’t touch the door frame (signs that your upper back, shoulders, and core lack mobility).