Why do the Functional Movement Screen?

Why do the Functional Movement Screen?

By Kena Perry.

Someone asked me the other day why we do the functional movement screen and what each part of the screen shows. The short answer to this question is that the FMS is an efficient way to quickly point out any asymmetries or dysfunctional movement patterns. When we are able to point out these asymmetries, then we can prescribe certain corrective movements to help improve movement and then we complete the screen in a few months to see if there has been improvement.

The Functional Movement Screen consists of seven different movements. These seven movement patterns are the deep squat, hurdle step, inline lunge, shoulder mobility, active straight leg raise, trunk stability push up, and rotary stability. Each of these tests is a fundamental movement that we use in our everyday lives.

Deep Squat

For example, we squat down and stand up all day long, from getting in and out of the car, sitting on the toilet, or simply squatting down to pick something up off the floor.

Hurdle Step

The hurdle step movement shows how we can move from a bilateral stance to a single leg movement. We perform this movement pattern when walking up a flight of stairs, climbing a ladder, or simply stepping over an object on the floor.

Inline Lunge

The inline lunge shows the ability to lower our center of mass in a stride foot position often used in times of deceleration and direction change (FMS, 2015). In everyday life, we use the half kneeling or lunge position to lower ourselves to pull weeds or pick up a ball on the golf course. 

Shoulder Mobility

The shoulder mobility movement pattern is used in daily life to carry, push, pull, and reach overhead. In addition, this upper body movement pattern is used in something as simple as putting a shirt on or brushing your hair.

Active Straight Leg Raise

The active straight leg movement pattern is used to show the reciprocal lower body pattern that is used in many daily activities such as bending over to pick something up, deadlifting, hiking, or climbing stairs.

Trunk Stability Push Up

The trunk stability push up screen is used to show the reactive sagittal plane pattern. This is used in movements such as running and jumping by resisting extension and transferring forces from the lower body to the upper body (FMS, 2015). Some daily activities that involve this type of movement pattern include pushing a lawn mower, or picking up your children.

Rotary Stability

The final part of the functional movement screen is the rotary stability movement pattern. This particular movement pattern shows the ability to create or resist rotation to crawl, climb, run, swing, and throw. We resist rotation when we pick up an object on one side of the body and brace ourselves with the opposite side (FMS, 2015). This movement pattern also looks at motor control to see if you sacrifice stability in order to complete a task. 

By using the Functional Movement Screen to assess asymmetries or dysfunctions we can gain a better understanding of our movement patterns and what we can use for corrective exercises. The overall goal with the Functional Movement Screen is to identify and improve basic movement patterns that we use in our daily lives. If you’re interested in learning more about the Functional Movement Screen, feel free to reach out to any one of the coaches!

Works Cited: Functional Movement Systems. (2015).

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