Self Assessments:

While I could reformat all this information into a chart, why give yourself more work when someone else has already done it for you! Thanks NASM. 

Test 1: Overhead Squat 

Set up:

Using your smart phone: set to video a few feet away from you on a level surface where you can see your whole body. I've used aerobic or plyometric boxes to prop up against my water bottle. 

What I Normally see:

Straight ahead:

Knees Caving In

Knees caving in is almost always indicative of weak glutes but I would not rule out poor stability being a reason as well. With the knee valgus, you end up shifting as a result. If this happens, I'll have the individual repeat the motion with their arms on their hips. If it magically corrects, then we can being to assume that the issue is more of a stability issue. By bringing the arms down from the overhead position, you're more stable and therefore easier to control the body. I would also have them perform a deep squat pattern while holding onto something stable. This does two things:

1) Shows that they have the pre-requsite mobility to actually drop into to the position.

2) Narrows down the exact issue to the person lacking stability in the core and hips. 

We can proceed with an entry level glute strengthening program. 

Feet Turning Out

Many jobs require you to wear dress shoes or high heels. This places the calves and plantar muscles into a flexed position for hours on end. Releasing the tension in the calves takes some diligence but it will pay off in a more fluid squat and a more comfortable resting state for your feet. 

An individual may have poor ankle flexion. Easy way to check is by placing two 2.5lbs plates and squatting with your heels raised up onto the plates. If it corrects itself then we know that lack of ankle flexibility may be an issue, but of course it's not the only thing I would consider. As I mentioned above, if they can drop into a butt to calves type deep squat while holding onto a beam or squat rack, they obviously have the aforementioned ankle flexibility and it is predominantly a stabilization issue as well as some soft tissue restrictions. 

BONUS: I would also have someone who looks pretty good to perform a front raise plate loaded squat. With their core muscles activated, we can check to see if this is something that may need work. If they can get to parallel depth (hip crease parallel to the floor) then I would say this individual lacks proper core activation and strength. This person while getting a little deeper may still exhibit their upper body falling forward, or show a lack of thoracic extension. Which in today's population isn't out of the ordinary. 

Side View

Falling Forward

Falling forward usually is the most common thing I see from the side. Whether it's their actual torso and/or also their arms falling. With the body folding up like an accordion, it demonstrates someone with tight hips,quads and lack of thoracic extension as well. Your goal is to have the arms mirror your back and shin angles.

Staying Upright But Only 1/4 Squat

This is another common pattern I see, before I correct the individual I will ask them to go deeper by "sitting back" to see what their body will try to do. They almost always will fall backwards or knock their knees together to compensate for very weak glutes and hamstring. 

Arms Falling Down

With people on their phones and computers all day, it's a very common pattern to see as well. This individual will have a rounded upper back, weak retractor muscles and also poor core stability. This individual typically lack adequate thoracic extension.

For a follow up, feel free to message me regarding specific situations and I can help with strategies for corrective programming.