Disclaimer: This article series is particularly for the coaches, trainers and therapists out there. It doesn’t mean you won’t get some great info from it if you aren’t in these fields but I wanted to really focus on this population.
We all know that I’m a huge fan of screening and assessment in the strength, fitness and general meathead population. Fixing specific weakness and mobility issues will not only make us better athletes and help us reach our fitness goals (strength, power, monster biceps etc.) but it will also help to keep us injury free.
A popular screen that is typically used in the fitness and strength & conditioning community is the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). I’m certified in the FMS, try to use it as often as I have someone who will benefit from it and believe it be a solid tool to keep in your toolbox. That being said I believe we should all be following evidence based guidelines. Let’s see what the heck the evidence says, shall we?
What is the Functional Movement Screen?
Directly from the Functional Movement Systems Website:
“The Functional Movement Screen was developed in its current form over a decade ago and has gained support in the fitness community as a way to efficiently screen and develop a corrective exercise program to improve movement patterns. As the tool has gained in popularity clinically, research has begun to be conducted that has added to the support of the screening tool. Current research on the Functional Movement Screen suggests that the test is a reliable way to objectively measure fundamental movement patterns that are modifiable and indicative of an elevated likelihood of sustaining a musculoskeletal injury.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the 7 tests you can visit the FMS site HERE: I’m sure you can find some great youtube video explanations as well.
As a physical therapist and strength coach, evidenced based practice is extremely important to me. I wanted to take a look into the literature to learn more about the FMS and how it can fit into our tool box as a coach or therapist. Based on the literature I wanted to see:
One thing to keep in mind is that even though the FMS has been around for over a decade the research is still limited in this area. In several areas the evidence is lacking towards its efficacy. Keep in mind though that a lack of evidence does not necessarily mean that the FMS is not an effective tool. It really means that more research must be undertaken to judge it’s effectiveness. I think this point is vital. In my opinion the research has been very promising toward the effectiveness of the FMS.
Some general assumptions before we begin our discussion:
Now to get down to business, the research…
Seminal FMS studies:
CAN SERIOUS INJURY IN PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL BE PREDICTED BY A PRESEASON FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT SCREEN? (8)
Considerations and additional questions:
USE OF A FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT SCREENING TOOL TO DETERMINE INJURY RISK IN FEMALE COLLEGIATE ATHLETES (3)
Considerations and additional questions:
Perhaps the most interesting side note of this study:
That’s enough research for now. Next week we’re going to tackle research in the military and firefighting populations. Hold onto your butts.
I wanted to stir some conversation with this article series. Where does the FMS best fit into a clinical and coaching practice? Please respond in the comments below.
World’s worst rotary stability test,
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Bhk FP, Koehle MS. Normative Data for the Functional Movement Screen in middle-aged adults. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 May 3.
Butler RJ, Contreras M, Burton LC, Plisky PJ, Kiesel KB. Modifiable Risk Factors Predict injuries in Firefighters during Training Academies. Work. in press.
Chorba RS, Chorba DJ, Bouillon LE, Overmyer CA, Landis JA. Use of a functional movement screening tool to determine injury risk in female collegiate athletes. N Am J Sports Phys Ther. 2010 Jun;5(2):47- 54.
Cowen VS. Functional fitness improvements after a worksite-based yoga initiative. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2010;14:50-4.
Frost DM, Beach TA, Callaghan JP, McGill SM. Using the Functional Movement ScreenTM to evaluate the effectiveness of training. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Jun;26(6):1620-30.
Gribble P, Brigle J, Pietrosimone B, Pfile K, Webster K. Intrarater Reliability of the Functional Movement Screen. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 May 15.
Kiesel KB, Plisky PJ, Butler RJ. Functional movement test scores improve following a standardized off-season intervention program in professional football players. Scand J Sci Med Sports. 2011; 287- 292.
Kiesel K, Plisky PJ, Voight M. Can serious injury in professional football be predicted by a preseason Functional Movement Screen? N Am J Sports Phys Ther. 2007; 2(3):76-81.
Kiesel KB, Plisky PJ, Butler RJ. Fundamental movement limitations and asymmetries relate to injury risk in professional football players. in review.
O’Connor FG, Deuster PA, Davis J, Pappas CG, Knapik JJ. Functional movement screening: predicting injuries in officer candidates. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Dec;43(12):2224-30.
Onate JA, Dewey T, Kollock RO, Thomas KS, Van Lunen BL, DeMaio M, Ringleb SI. Real-time intersession and interrater reliability of the functional movement screen. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Feb;26(2):408-15.
Parchmann CJ, McBride JM. Relationship between functional movement screen and athletic performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Dec;25(12):3378-8.
Schneiders AG, Davidsson A, Hörman E, Sullivan SJ. Functional movement screen normative values in a young, active population. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2011 Jun;6(2):75-82.
Smith CA, Chimera NJ, Wright N, Warren M. Interrater and Intrarater Reliability of the Functional Movement Screen. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Jun 11.
Teyhen DS, Shaffer SW, Lorenson CL, Halfpap JP, Donofry DF, Walker MJ, Dugan JL, Childs JD. The Functional Movement Screen: a reliability study. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2012 Jun;42(6):530-40.
7 Reasons Why Your Shoulders Get Hurt in the Gym: Part 1
9 Critical Principles for a Successful and Injury Free Off-season (Part 1)
Is Cupping Just Another Fad?
9 Critical Principles for a Successful Off-season Program (Part 3)
How to Modify Overhead Pressing for Shoulder Pain
How to Modify the Squat to Eliminate Painful Pinching Hips
How to Modify Squats for Painful Knees and Lower Backs
The Coaches Guide to Modifying Workouts for Athletes in Pain