Functional Movement Screen: What Every Client and Trainer Should Know

Functional Movement ScreenFunctional Movement Screen: Is it really a screen?

I used to think the FMS was THE method to solve a lot of my clients’ problems. After using it, attending FMS and Perform Better workshops, and listening to Gray Cook’s podcasts, the FMS doesn’t always deliver as proponents claim. Perhaps it was my own misinterpretation and expectations of what the screen was intended to do. Perhaps it was also about listening to fitness gurus and physical therapists who still rely on the biomechanical model to address pain and movements.

My clients, who are mostly non-athletes and desk jockeys who want to move better and lose a few pounds, did not improve their performance based on the FMS scores, nor did they exhibit pain or “movement dysfunction” because of poor “movement patterns” or posture.

Back then there wasn’t much valid research on the reliability and validity of the FMS, but right now, in early 2014, we are seeing more. I hope that fitness trainers, coaches, and other healthcare professionals can see that the FMS isn’t the Holy Grail to improving movement or performance. I still use the Functional Movement Screen occasionally with new training or massage clients just to get a snapshot of how they move and determine whether there is pain or not. It also shows how they interpret my cues to movement to understand how they learn better. It’s not about finding leg-length discrepancies or “faulty movement patterns.” And I don’t get anal about the scores either.

If you find it useful and clients are moving better, great. If not, look for something else. Don’t get tied down to ONE method like I did years ago.

Understanding the problem, not the method.

The following article was published that gives a deeper look at the evidence supporting and debunking the Functional Movement Screen.


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