Functional Movement Screening
Functional Movement Screening (FMS) is a comprehensive movement assessment that helps identify any potential limitations or imbalances in a person’s functional movements. It is an important tool for both athletes and non-athletes who wish to improve their overall fitness and prevent injuries. In this article, we’ll explore the history, science, benefits, and criticisms of FMS, as well as how to perform the test, understand its results, and incorporate it into your training program or rehabilitation process.
What is Functional Movement Screening and Why is it Important?
Functional movement screening is a series of exercises that assess a person’s movement patterns and identifies any imbalances or limitations that may lead to injuries or decreased performance. It is important because people often have dysfunctional movements that they are not aware of, which can eventually lead to injuries or lower performance in their chosen sport or activity. By identifying these issues early on, they can be corrected and even prevented altogether.
Functional movement screening is commonly used by physical therapists, athletic trainers, and strength and conditioning coaches to evaluate an individual's movement quality. It can also be used as a tool to track progress and determine the effectiveness of a rehabilitation or training program. Additionally, functional movement screening can help identify movement patterns that may be contributing to chronic pain or discomfort.
Functional movement screening is not just for athletes or those in rehabilitation. It can be beneficial for anyone looking to improve their overall movement quality and prevent injuries. By identifying and addressing any imbalances or limitations, individuals can improve their performance in daily activities and reduce their risk of injury.
The History and Development of Functional Movement Screening
FMS was developed in 1997 by Gray Cook, a physical therapist and fitness professional, and Lee Burton, a doctor of physical therapy. They wanted to create a comprehensive screening tool that could be used by healthcare professionals, coaches, and trainers to identify movement asymmetries and limitations. The tool gained popularity in the early 2000s as more and more healthcare professionals and coaches started incorporating it into their practices.
Functional Movement Screening has been widely adopted in the sports industry, with many professional sports teams using it as a tool to assess their athletes' movement patterns and identify potential injury risks. The NFL, NBA, and NHL are just a few examples of organizations that have incorporated FMS into their training programs.
Over the years, FMS has undergone several revisions and updates to improve its accuracy and effectiveness. In 2019, the creators of FMS released the FMS 2.0, which includes new tests and scoring criteria. This updated version aims to provide even more detailed information about an individual's movement patterns and help healthcare professionals and coaches develop more targeted treatment and training plans.
The Science Behind Functional Movement Screening
The science behind FMS focuses on the relationship between mobility and stability. The screening tests are designed to assess both mobility (the ability to move freely and easily) and stability (the ability to maintain proper alignment and control during movement) in seven fundamental movement patterns: the deep squat, hurdle step, inline lunge, shoulder mobility, active straight leg raise, trunk stability push-up, and rotary stability.
The tests are scored on a scale of 0-3, with 3 being the highest score. Each pattern is analyzed for any imbalances or limitations, and the scores are used to guide corrective exercises and training programs.
Functional Movement Screening is widely used in the fitness industry to identify movement dysfunctions and prevent injuries. It is also used by healthcare professionals to assess patients with musculoskeletal disorders. The screening process is quick and non-invasive, making it an efficient tool for identifying movement limitations and imbalances. By addressing these issues through corrective exercises and training programs, individuals can improve their overall movement quality and reduce the risk of injury.
The Benefits of Functional Movement Screening for Athletes and Non-Athletes
The benefits of FMS for athletes and non-athletes are numerous. By identifying any limitations or imbalances in movements, individuals can correct these dysfunctions before they cause an injury. This is particularly important for athletes who are at high risk for injuries due to the intense physical demands of their sport. By screening for movement asymmetries and implementing corrective exercises, athletes can improve their overall performance and reduce their risk of injury.
Non-athletes can also benefit from FMS by improving their functional movements, which can lead to better physical performance and overall health.
In addition to injury prevention, FMS can also help athletes and non-athletes identify areas of weakness or imbalance in their movements. By addressing these issues, individuals can improve their overall physical fitness and reduce the risk of future injuries. FMS can also be used as a tool for tracking progress and evaluating the effectiveness of training programs.
Furthermore, FMS can be used as a screening tool for individuals who are new to exercise or returning from an injury. By identifying any movement limitations or imbalances, trainers and coaches can develop personalized exercise programs that are tailored to the individual's needs and goals.
How to Perform a Functional Movement Screen Test
The FMS test involves seven fundamental movement patterns that are scored on a scale from 0-3. A score of 3 indicates no limitations or asymmetries, while a score of 0 indicates pain during the movement or an inability to complete the movement.
Each of the seven movement patterns is scored independently, and the scores are then used to identify any limitations or asymmetries that need to be corrected. Healthcare professionals, coaches, or trainers with experience in FMS can administer the screening test and provide corrective exercises based on the individual’s scores.
It is important to note that the FMS test should not be used as a diagnostic tool, but rather as a screening tool to identify any potential movement limitations or asymmetries. It is also recommended that individuals undergo the FMS test regularly to track their progress and identify any changes in their movement patterns.
Understanding the Results of a Functional Movement Screen Test
The FMS test results are scored from 0-3 for each of the seven fundamental movement patterns. These scores are then used to guide the corrective exercises and training programs that an individual will undergo. Depending on the scores, an individual may need to work on improving mobility or stability in certain movements to improve overall function and prevent injury.
It is important to note that the FMS test is not a diagnostic tool, but rather a screening tool. It can identify areas of weakness or dysfunction, but further assessment may be needed to determine the root cause of the issue. Additionally, the FMS test can be used as a baseline measurement to track progress over time and adjust training programs accordingly.
While the FMS test is commonly used in sports performance and rehabilitation settings, it can also be beneficial for individuals looking to improve their overall fitness and function. By identifying areas of weakness or limitation, individuals can work on improving their movement patterns and reducing their risk of injury in everyday activities.
Common Issues Identified by Functional Movement Screening
Common issues identified by FMS include asymmetries in movement patterns, limitations in mobility or stability, and compensatory movements caused by imbalances in the body. These issues can be corrected through focused corrective exercises and training programs.
It is important to address these issues as they can lead to decreased performance, increased risk of injury, and chronic pain. By identifying and correcting these issues, individuals can improve their overall movement quality and reduce the likelihood of future injuries. It is recommended to undergo FMS regularly to monitor progress and identify any new issues that may arise.
Using Functional Movement Screening to Prevent Injuries
FMS is an effective tool for preventing injuries by identifying any potential limitations or imbalances early on. By focusing on corrective exercises and training programs to address these issues, individuals can improve their overall function and reduce their risk of injury.
Functional Movement Screening (FMS) is a comprehensive assessment tool that evaluates an individual's movement patterns and identifies any asymmetries or dysfunctions that may lead to injury. It is commonly used by physical therapists, athletic trainers, and strength and conditioning coaches to prevent injuries in athletes and active individuals.
The FMS test consists of seven fundamental movement patterns that are scored on a scale of 0-3. A score of 3 indicates that the individual can perform the movement pattern without any compensations or limitations, while a score of 0 indicates pain or inability to perform the movement. Based on the scores, a customized corrective exercise program is designed to address any limitations or imbalances identified during the screening process.
Incorporating Functional Movement Screening into Your Training Program
FMS can be incorporated into an individual’s training program to identify any limitations or asymmetries that need to be corrected. The results of the screening test can be used to guide corrective exercises and training programs that will improve overall function and prevent injury. Regular FMS screenings can also track progress and make adjustments to training programs as needed.
One of the benefits of incorporating FMS into a training program is that it can help to prevent injuries. By identifying any imbalances or weaknesses in an individual's movement patterns, corrective exercises can be prescribed to address these issues before they lead to injury. This can be especially important for athletes who are at a higher risk of injury due to the demands of their sport.
Another advantage of using FMS is that it can help to improve overall performance. By addressing any limitations or asymmetries in an individual's movement patterns, they can move more efficiently and effectively. This can lead to improvements in strength, power, and agility, which can translate to better performance in sports and other physical activities.
Functional Movement Screening for Rehabilitation Purposes
FMS can also be used for rehabilitation purposes to assess an individual’s movement patterns after an injury or during the rehabilitation process. The scores can be used to guide the rehabilitation process and improve overall function after injury.
Criticisms and Limitations of Functional Movement Screening
There are some criticisms and limitations of FMS. Some healthcare professionals argue that it is not a comprehensive enough tool to assess all dysfunctions in movement patterns and that there is still room for improvement. Others argue that the tool is not necessary for everyone and may not be appropriate for certain populations, such as elderly individuals or those with severe physical limitations.
Conclusion: Is Functional Movement Screening Right for You?
Overall, FMS is an effective tool for identifying any limitations or asymmetries in movement patterns and improving overall function. Athletes and non-athletes alike can benefit from incorporating FMS into their training programs to prevent injury and improve physical performance. However, it is important to work with a healthcare professional or trainer with experience in FMS to get the most out of the screening tool.