The Importance of Functional Movement Screens


The following post is a guest blog by Max Lipset, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in Minneapolis. He is an owner and conditioning coach at Kaizen Coaching, which provides strength and conditioning for student athletes and their families in the Twin Cities.



What is FMS?


Functional Movement Screens (FMS) are becoming more popular in all areas of exercise, from strength and conditioning, to physical therapy and rehab. Simply put, the FMS allows for a person to have their movement patterns ranked and graded compared to ideal function. Similar to when Dr. Silverman prescribes custom orthotics to alleviate a foot condition like flatfeet, we analyze the inconsistencies in your movement patterns and institute corrective techniques to fix the problem. By ensuring you are conducting optimal movement patterns while exercising and during your daily routine, your body will wear down less quickly and you’ll be less prone to injury.


As a strength and conditioning coach, I love the FMS because it is a tool that I can use with my clients to give them specific, quantitative feedback on their quality of movement. It also allows me to communicate with medical professionals like doctors and physical therapists using common language, which is invaluable to me as a coach interested in optimizing the performance, health and wellness of my clients.


Anyone who wants to improve their movement quality can benefit from going through the FMS. Most people have glaring movement patterns, and even people who move very well have patterns that are less than ideal. The FMS is a safe and quantitative way to assess these movement patterns. In this regard, it is an important tool that I use in client intake and evaluations. A skilled coach or physical therapist will be able to use the screen to create a road map for improving movement quality.



Who Uses FMS?


For people who work jobs that involve manual labor of any kind, the FMS is one of the most powerful injury prevention tools available. Similarly, for athletes at all levels, scoring well on the FMS has been proven to reduce non-contact injuries up to 90%. For this reason, NFL teams, the LA Galaxy, Manchester United, and many other elite and amateur sports organizations have adopted the FMS. I require that all my coaches become FMS certified practitioners, and I use the screens with all my clients. I think it is a worthwhile investment on both the coaches’ and the clients’ side, and it is a great tool for building training programs that are customized and comprehensive.


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