Aristotle: To be ignorant of motion is to be ignorant of nature
What in the world is a functional movement specialist (FMS)? Good question. First, I will tell you what functional movement is. Functional movement is built on the premise that every individual should be able to move without restriction or limitation. The FMS was created with injury prevention in mind. One of the creators, Gray Cook, is both a physical therapist and strength & conditioning specialist. The Functional Movement Screen blends both worlds together and helps to create a system for performance enhancement.
The screening scores 7 fundamental movement patterns: squat, step, lunge, reach. leg raise, push-up for trunk stability, and rotational stability. On paper, these tests look fairly simple...until you actually try them. The FMS uses a 3 point scoring system. If you feel any pain while performing these moves, that will result in the score of a 0. This means you should see a medical professional or specialist before trying any additional physical activity. A score of 1 is the inability to perform the movement pattern because of stiffness, loss of balance, or any other difficulty. For example, while trying to perform a squat your heels raise off of the ground and you have an excessive forward body lean. A score of 2 displays limited compensation while performing the move. You are able to complete the movement pattern but you have less than perfect form. A 3 is a perfect score. The idea is to score a 2 or better on the movement patterns. If you are able to do that, then all systems are a go and you can begin training those patterns with resistance!
Weakness and imbalance (lack of balance between limbs or sides of the body, not literally losing balance and falling over) are the primary cause of injury. This system created a way to turn these weaknesses and imbalances into areas of strength. Here is what you do: go and find yourself a Functional Movement Specialist (schedule an appointment with me. I need some practice hours before my certification is final). Rank the scores from lowest to highest. The lowest scores are your biggest weaknesses. This is where we start. The system has an abundance of corrective exercises designed to improve any area of weakness. It is important to only focus on one area at a time. Give all your attention to the biggest weakness, and when you feel like you've gained progress, move onto the next area. I would recommend re-testing every 6-8 weeks. Just remember, functional movement leads to functional performance which leads to functional skill!
If you are a physically active person (ie weightlifter, runner, swimmer, etc) it is imperative to perform these fundamental movement patterns with minimal limitations. I will be giving out free assessments between today, January 22nd, and January 31st . It is time to become the best you. Schedule an appointment today!
Chris is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and member of the National Strength & Conditioning Association. He has recently served as a high school football and wrestling coach. Chris loves swinging kettlebells around, watching football and reading books!