I attended the FMS II certification last weekend and had an absolute blast. I wrote in June about how I liked my FMS I. I realized in that article I didn’t really write about what the FMS is, how it’s used, and why it’s used. Let’s have a look at this first.
The FMS (Functional Movement Screen) is a screening tool used to predict risk for musculoskeletal injuries. Various individuals in the health and medical field are using the FMS with their patients/clients. The screen consists of 7 functional movements. A few of the movements have extra screen which identifies if your client has a shoulder impingement problem and/or low back pain in flexion or extension of the spine. In the case that they do have pain, you know that they need to be cleared by a physio, chiro etc, before they can begin using resistance on certain exercises.
The screen also places movement patterns in order of importance. It allows you to score all the movement patters as well as screen for pain as was previously mentioned. The four primitive patterns are given the most importance followed by the other three functional patterns. The screen also enables the screener to see if the client has any asymmetries. Asymmetries take precedence, because they increase your chances of injury.
The FMS is first used to clear an individual to either leave care from a healthcare practitioner or allows a strength coach etc. to clear an athlete for weight training. These are just a few of the ways the FMS can be used. For athletes or even weekend warriors, it’s useful to use before you begin a resistance training program. Why you ask? Simple, if you have a dysfunctional movement pattern (such as a dysfunctions Shoulder) then adding strength to dysfunction is not only going to make the problem worse, but make it harder to reverse.
The screen also allows a coach to design a resistance training program for their athletes/clients that won’t injure them! If your coach/trainer isn’t screening or assessing you, how do they know what movements you can do safely and properly? Well the answer is: they don’t know.
The actual FMS is just a screen. It tell you that someone can or can’t do perform a movement pattern. It doesn’t tell you why they can or can’t do a certain movement pattern. This is where the FMS II course comes in. My instructor taught us how to use further screens and assessments to simply find more information.
Once I find what movement pattern needs to be worked on, further screening and assessment begins. For example, on the active straight leg raise (skip to 3:24 and on to see the active straight leg raise screen)
If an individual has a 1 on the right and a 2 on the left, then we want to get both these score to 2. So you would assess for mobility in the hips as well as stability in the anterior and posterior core. Only after further screening and assessing, can you prescribe corrective exercise.
The beauty of corrective exercise, is that you have an objective measuring tool in the FMS to test whether or not the corrective exercise you prescribe is actually working. So when you ‘prescribe’ corrective exercise, you are able to go back to the movement pattern and find out if the correction actually helped your movement pattern or not. Corrective exercise will literally improve your score on the spot if the the proper mobility/stability problems are addressed.
Mobility corrections will last approximately 30 minutes. As I’ve known for a while, and as my instructor stated, you can’t lengthen muscles in a matter of minutes. He said it takes 8 hours to actually add length to your sarcomeres. He also talked about a principle you’ve probably heard before; it takes 10,000 reps to master a movement. So it makes take a long ass time to clean up dysfunction you may have. There will be homework!
Anyways, I had a great time at the seminar. For anyone looking for an FMS practitioner just check out www.fms.com. If you’re a coach or in the health field and are interested in getting certified go to the same site. You will be glad you did!