Functional Movement Screen (FMS)

The FMS (Functional Movement Screen) looks at fundamental movements, motor control within movements, and a competence of basic movement patterns. Its job is to determine movement deficiency and uncover asymmetry. Further assessment can be conducted, if revealed in the FMS. The evaluation is done by a simple grading system, without judgment.

The system was developed by Physical Therapist, Gray Cook in approximately 2001. The goal was to use the screen to add insight to movement problems that would ultimately lead to the best exercise choices and program design for individuals that would minimize risk of injury.

The FMS is designed for all healthy, active people and for healthy, inactive people who want to increase physical activity. It is designed for those that do not have pain or injury.

The FMS itself is a series of seven different movements and three clearing tests that are combined into a movement screen. By screen, this does not mean it’s a diagnostic tool. The FMS is not diagnostic at all. It is a proven tool that looks objectively at quality of movement. It is extremely objective, reliable, and reproducible. It used by a wide range of fitness and health care professionals.

The seven tests require a balance of mobility and stability. Mobility and stability are the essential elements of the movement patterns in the FMS. If there are limitations in either, the FMS will reveal them.

The purpose of this information is not to go into the details of each of the seven movements, but to explain the practical application and utility in the athletic and recreational exercise population. With the increased desire to be fitter, stronger, and more athletic, people need to realize the importance of having fundamental movements before advancing into higher-level activities. What often happens is people are putting exercise and performance on top of dysfunctional movement, which can impair performance and cause injuries.  

There is a saying that “something is only as strong as its weakest link.” The FMS strives to identify the weak link and correct it. The FMS looks at fundamental movement patterns, which are the foundation for fitness and performance.

Once the FMS has revealed a dysfunction, if there is one, an appropriate exercise strategy can be implemented to correct the problem. This is part of the magic of the FMS and corrective exercise system.

Studies have demonstrated the reliability of FMS and it is widely used in professional and collegiate sports. At PTIS we utilize the FMS along with a physical therapy biomechanical screen to gain a full understanding of any underlying mechanical dysfunction and use this information to direct our athletes to either corrective exercises or manual therapy to restore normal function.

We have performed Functional Movement Screens for:
• The Denver Outlaws
• Douglas County High Schools
• Elevation Volleyball – Click here to view the FMS Presentation
• Area Team and Club Sport Athletes
We regularly treat professional, collegiate, high school and weekend athletes to help them achieve their highest performance.