What is Functional Movement Screen (FMS)

FMS is a pre-participation screening tool designed to identify compensatory movement patterns that are indicative of increased injury risk and inefficient movement that causes reduced performance.  FMS screening tool used to evaluate seven fundamental movement patterns in individuals with no current pain complaint or musculoskeletal injury. The FMS is not intended to diagnose orthopedic problems but rather to demonstrate opportunities for improved movement in individuals.

The screening process

The 7 body weight screen exercises are designed to place an individual in extreme positions where movement deficits become noticeable if appropriate stability and mobility are not used. Even though individuals are performing an activity or sport at a high level, it has been observed that many of these same individuals are limited in fundamental movement. This leads to the use of compensatory movements in order to achieve or maintain the level of performance needed for the activity. The inefficient use of compensation during movement will lead to poor biomechanics that limit gains in performance and reduces the body’s ability to remain adaptable and durable against the risks of being involved in the activity or sport.

Screen results

Within the FMS there is an algorithm or procedure for addressing the asymmetries and restrictions found in the screen. The algorithm allows us to quickly identify and prioritize deficient movement patterns. Once the priority movement pattern has been identified, this allows for targeted intervention using corrective exercise. If an individual has no areas of concern within a movement pattern then they would be cleared to train and load that pattern.

Who is FMS for?

Ideally the FMS would be introduced as a part of a pre-placement or pre-participation examination to determine deficits that may be overlooked during the traditional medical and performance evaluations. Muscle flexibility, strength imbalances or compensation due to previous injury are all acknowledged as significant risk factors for injury. In many cases, the FMS will pinpoint these issues that may not be identified in other standard evaluations. The functional movement screen will identify functional deficits related to proprioceptive, mobility and stability limitations. If these risk factors can be identified and addressed using the FMS, then decreases in injuries and improved performance should follow.

The FMS can also be used to re-screen for feedback every 4-6 weeks or when an improvement is seen in the priority movement pattern. Re-screening provides feedback into the effectiveness of the current program design and provides insight on how and when to move to higher level progressions or a new priority movement pattern.