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Functional Movement Screen

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

What is the Functional Movement Screen (FMS)

The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a 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 screen is 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.

What is the Benefits of (FMS)

- A consistent and reliable testing method

- Easily identifies movement limitations and dysfunction

- Improves efficiency, durability, and performance

- Provides an enhanced foundation for exercise and performance programming

When to use the FMS

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.

You can download the related 7 movement patterns, the FMS score sheet and FMS scoring criteria in the document section.

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