Functional Movement Screen: The Gold Standard for Injury Prevention

Posted: Tuesday, 15 May 2012 by Strength&Nutrition24/7 in Labels: , , ,

Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Testing 

Written By Vincent St. Pierre

All personal trainers and strength coaches should put their clients through the FMS prior to training in my opinion. If you have a personal trainer or strength coach who does not know what the FMS Test is, run away. Your coach clearly does no additional reading and is far behind the times, since this has been around for a significant amount of time and is considered the gold standard.

This tool is not perfect, but is currently the best tool developed thus far.

Here is what the developers of the system claim:
The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) can help individuals and groups in many different ways. This simple screening tool provides the most fundamental and primary information needed when working with active and athletic populations.

By performing the Functional Movement Screen, you can quickly ascertain potential risk when an individual’s movement patterns are limited or altered. These patterns often go undetected in conventional training. You can also use the screen to refine training based screening information.
Some professionals look at movement patterns to identify those who may be at risk for an injury as activity levels are increased. Others are interested in performance and consider movement patterns as they develop fitness and performance programs. Here is a system that does BOTH.

The facts 
FMS testing can be administered quickly and easily to identify improper movement patterns, which can then be addressed by using corrective exercises to restore proper movement. The Screen consists of seven tests: the squat, hurdle step, lunge, shoulder mobility, active leg raise, pushup, and rotary stability. Each test is scored on an ordinal scale from 0 to 3. The sum of each test yields a total FMS score that is used to predict risk of injury and recommend beneficial corrective exercises to restore proper movement patterns and track progress. The Screen requires little space and can be applied at any fitness level. Many professional athletic teams are currently using FMS to reduce injury risk and improve performance.

The FMS system is fantastic for determining improper movement patterns and muscular imbalances. This test can help the personal trainers and strength coach develop individuals and athletes who have a stronger balanced foundation which will long term reduce the risk of injury

Scoring Notes
Research has shown very little difference in the reduction of injury risk between having all twos or all threes. The major issues are when someone scores a one or worse. On top of this, the greatest risks are asymmetries. This can involve one leg on the straight leg raise scoring a three and the other scoring a two. Further, it could be one leg scoring a high 2 nearly a three and the other being a low two. The two imbalances I just illustrated can seriously increase risk of injury.

If a client ever feels pain during the exercises beyond just stretching, they should be sent to a doctor or athletic therapist before working with them.

The FMS system should be administered by all trainers prior to beginning a program. It will help identify risks and help in creating a more balanced and stronger person. Using the FMS properly will help the trainer create a program that is injury preventative.

The FMS company sells equipment. However, it is extremely expensive and you can just make it at home.

Links for FMS Test

I noticed the pdf doesn’t show how to perform the impingement test and press up test
Please find examples below. The purpose of these tests are not to diagnose. However, if any pain is felt while performing these, the client needs to get approved by a doctor or athletic therapist.