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Teaching Class
2 Credits

Overhead Squat Assessment: Introduction

This course introduces the Overhead Squat Assessment (OHSA). A dynamic movement assessment that can be used to quickly identify reliable signs correlated with movement impairment and compensation patterns.

Brent Brookbush

Brent Brookbush


Course Summary: Introduction to the Overhead Squat Assessment (OHSA)

The Importance of Assessment:

All fitness, performance, and physical rehabilitation programs should start with a movement assessment. The goal of assessment is to refine exercise and technique recommendations, with the intent of improving client or patient outcomes. From the perspective of decision theory, the goal of an assessment is to differentiate client or patient populations into subgroups that achieve optimal outcomes from different intervention plans.

Introduction to the Overhead Squat Assessment (OHSA):

This course introduces a dynamic movement assessment (a.k.a. dynamic postural assessment), known as the Overhead Squat Assessment (OHSA). This assessment is also referenced as the OSA, OHSA, squat assessment, and overhead squat in various publications. Further, it is similar to the deep squat assessment of the Functional Movement Screen. With this assessment, a professional can quickly identify reliable signs correlated with movement impairments, including altered shoulder mobility, scapula dyskinesis, altered core strength, hip mobility, knee joint alignment, and/or ankle mobility. Note, additional assessments can be added to measure improvements (continuous interval measures), measure range of motion (ROM), identify altered recruitment patterns, muscle imbalances (muscle overactivity or muscle under-activity), loss of muscle strength, or increased joint stiffness (e.g. goniometry, muscle length tests, manual muscle testing , and passive accessory motion examination ).

Unique Content:

This course includes unique content only available from the Brookbush Institute . Unlike other education companies that also teach a squat assessment, including the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), the Brookbush Institute provides an evidence-based analysis of muscle imbalances and joint dyskinesis. But perhaps most importantly, the Brookbush Institute is the first company to teach a methodology that includes assessment using a reference model and a preset group of reliable "signs of dysfunction," analysis of the impairments implied by those signs (including altered muscle activity, altered muscle length, and joint dyskinesis), development of an evidence-based and integrated approach to address the analyzed signs, and promotion of immediate post-intervention reassessment to determine the efficacy of the approach. The development of this process was a purposeful attempt to address a weakness in the industry exhibited by other professional education organizations, that is, the relationship between assessment and effective technique selection. This course is an introduction to a clear methodology for the implementation of this dynamic assessment for use by all sports medicine professionals (personal trainers, fitness instructors, physical therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, occupational therapists, osteopaths, acupuncturists, etc.).

This Course Includes:

  • Webinar: Introduction to the Overhead Squat Assessment
  • Study Guide: Introduction to the Overhead Squat Assessment
  • Text with Audio-Voice-Over
    • Why Assess?
    • Why the Overhead Squat Assessment?
    • Prior Knowledge and Relevant Definitions
    • Set up and Ideal Alignment (with Video Lecture)
    • Signs of Dysfunction (with Video Lecture)
    • 5 Steps for Analyzing Signs of Dysfunction (with Video Lecture)
    • Prioritizing Multiple Assessed Signs of Dysfunction (with Video Lecture)

Additional Courses:

Sample Content from this Course:

5 Steps for Analyzing Dysfunction

  1. Know what "ideal alignment" looks like.
  2. Identify the excessive joint actions that correlate with the sign(s) of dysfunction.
  3. List muscles responsible for that joint action ("short" muscles).
  4. Identify the opposing joint action.
  5. List the muscles responsible for the opposing joint action ("long" muscles).

A Note on Observation:

  • Although no one can see muscle activity or length, anyone can see motion (i.e. joint actions). Joint actions can then be used to infer muscle length and activity, and potentially the behavior of other structures (joint, fascia, nerves). For example, you cannot see "tight hip flexors," but you can see excessive hip flexion.

Systematic Approach to Analyzing Signs

It is important to create a systematic method for listing the altered muscle lengths correlated with the signs of dysfunction and excessive joint actions. Our recommendation is to use a "solutions table" like the one below. Initially, it may be necessary to review functional anatomy when building these tables. If you have taken our "Introduction to Functional Anatomy " courses, you may recognize how important it is to practice listing muscles by joint action. Although these tables may be challenging to complete the first time, repetition will lead to memorization of each sign, the excessive joint actions, and the muscles responsible for that joint action and the opposing joint action. Because there are only 10 potential signs, and many of the signs include the same excessive joint actions, it will not take long to commit the "solutions tables" to memory. These patterns will look very similar to the predictive models of postural dysfunction discussed in future courses on Postural Dysfunction/Movement Impairment .

Solutions Table Template

Observed Joint Action(s) Short Muscles Opposing Joint Action(s) Long Muscles

Sample Solutions Table: Feet Flatten

Sign: Feet Flatten = Excessive Eversion      
Observed Joint Action(s) Short Muscles Opposing Joint Action(s) Long Muscles

Fibularis Muscles

Lateral Gastrocnemius

Extensor Digitorum Longus


Tibialis Posterior

Tibialis Anterior

Generally, muscles implicated as short are also overactive, and the opposing muscles are long and underactive. We can use these tables to build a corrective/therapeutic exercise plan.

  1. Release overactive muscles
  2. Stretch short muscles
  3. Activate under-active muscles
  4. Integrate new motor pattern

Using additional resources, a more comprehensive and accurate analysis can be constructed, and various interventions can be compared to identify the techniques and intervention plans resulting in the best possible outcomes. The Brookbush Institute has continued to refine analyses and recommendations through years of testing in an outcome-driven practice and the systematic review of all peer-reviewed and published research. These analyses can be reviewed in the additional OHSA courses.


Study Guide: Overhead Squat Assessment: Introduction

Why Assess?

Why the Overhead Squat Assessment (OHSA)?

Necessary Prior Knowledge

Set-up and Ideal Alignment: Overhead Squat Assessment (OHSA) Video 1


Signs of Dysfunction: Overhead Squat Assessment (OHSA) Video 2


5 Steps for Analyzing Signs of Dysfunction: Overhead Squat Assessment (OHSA) Video 3


Prioritizing Multiple Assessed Signs of Dysfunction: Overhead Squat Assessment (OHSA) Video 4


Case Study: Overhead Squat Assessment, Prioritization, Analysis, and Corrective Intervention


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1. Course Summary: Introduction to the Overhead Squat Assessment (OHSA)

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