Importance of screening for functional movement
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” But when it comes to the human body what defines broken? Pain? Injury? Dysfunctional movement patterns? All of these qualify. So why do we generally only act on the first two (sometimes when its too late)? Probably because we aren’t always aware whether our functional movement patterns are indeed functional. To throw another cliché out there “prevention is always better than cure”.
In 2001 Garry Cook developed the FMS (functional movement screen) “to gather objective data for statistical analysis of human movement patterns with respect to functional performance and injury prevention”. More simply, screening the body by assessing movement patterns, mobility and stability will assist you to identify any functional limitations and asymmetries you might have.
The screen involves 7 different tests, these are:
- Deep Squat (Lower Body): Used to assess symmetrical and functional mobility of the hips, knees, and ankles.
- Hurdle Step (Lower Body): Gauges stability and functional mobility of the hips, knees, and ankles.
- In-Line Lunge (Lower Body): Used to assess torso, shoulder, hip and ankle stability and mobility, quadriceps ﬂexibility, and knee stability.
- Shoulder Mobility (Upper Body): Assesses shoulder range of motion as well as shoulder blade mobility.
- Straight Leg Raiser (Lower Body): Gauges functional hamstring and calf flexibility while maintaining a stable pelvis.
- Trunk Stability Push-Up (Upper/Lower Body): Used to assess symmetrical core stability.
- Rotary Stability (Upper/Lower Body): Assesses core stability in combination with upper and lower body mobility.
Having right-left asymmetries and major limitations can decrease the effects of functional training and physical conditioning as well as distorting body awareness, all of which can increase injury potential.