FMS - Functional Movement Screening

FMS - Functional Movement Screening

The Functional Movement Screening (FMS) comprises seven movement tests that require a combination of  mobility and stability. The tests used provide observable performance measurements of basic motor control and stabilizing movements. The tests work by placing the client in positions where weaknesses, imbalances, asymmetries and limitations become noticeable by a trained coach.

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Each of the seven tests assess a different component of a person mobility, stability and flexibility. The tests are very basic, require no athletic ability and are designed to establish a minimum standard of movement and control for all active populations.

Each test is completed in a few minutes and the whole assessment process will take less than 30 minutes to complete. At Train Athletic all our clients undergo the FMS as part of their induction process and the results are used to structure their mobility and strength plan.  It's the starting point for whether they are on our 'Prescription for Life' or 'Starting Strength' programmes.

Each test is scored between 0 and 3. A 3 is given if the athlete can perform the movement without any compensations, a 2 is given if the individual can perform the movement but must utilise poor mechanics and compensatory patterns to accomplish the movement, a 1 is given if the individual cannot perform the movement pattern even with compensations, and finally, a 0 is given if the individual has pain during any part of the movement or test.

The Tests

  • 1. Deep Overhead Squat
  • The deep squat challenges the whole body mechanics. It is used to assess bilateral, symmetrical and functional mobility of the hips, knees and ankles. The wooden dowel held overhead assesses bilateral, symmetrical mobility of the shoulders as well as the thoracic spine. The ability to perform the deep squat requires appropriate pelvic range of motion, dorsiflexion of the ankles, flexion of the knees and hips and extension of the thoracic spine, as well as flexion and abduction of the shoulders.

  • 2. The Hurdle Step
  • The hurdle step is designed to challenge the body’s proper stride mechanics during a stepping motion. The movement requires proper coordination and stability between the hips and torso during the stepping motion as well as single leg stance stability. The hurdle step assesses bilateral functional mobility and stability of the hips, knees and ankles. Performing the hurdle step test requires stance-leg stability of the ankle, knee and hip as well as maximal closed-kinetic chain extension of the hip. The hurdle step also requires step-leg open-kinetic chain dorsiflexion of the ankle and flexion of the knee and hip. In addition, the subject must also display adequate balance because the test imposes a need for dynamic stability.

  • 3. The Inline Lunge
  • This test attempts to place the body in a position that will focus on the stresses as simulated during rotational, decelerating and lateral-type movements. The inline lunge is a test that places the lower extremity in a scissored position, challenging the body’s trunk and extremities to resist rotation and maintain proper alignment. This test assesses torso, shoulder, hip and ankle mobility and stability, quadriceps flexibility and knee stability. The ability to perform the in-line lunge test requires stance-leg stability of the ankle, knee and hip as well as apparent closed kinetic - chain hip abduction. The in-line lunge also requires step-leg mobility of the hip, ankle dorsiflexion and rectus femoris flexibility. The subject must also display adequate stability due to the rotational stress imposed.

  • 4. Active Straight Leg Raise
  • The active straight-leg raise tests the ability to disassociate the lower extremity while maintaining stability in the torso. The active straight-leg raise test assesses active hamstring while maintaining a stable pelvis and active extension of the opposite leg. The ability to perform the active straight-leg raise test requires functional hamstring flexibility, which is the flexibility that is available during training. This is different from passive flexibility, which is more commonly assessed. The subject is also required to demonstrate adequate hip mobility of the opposite leg as well as lower abdominal stability.

  • 5. Shoulder Mobility
  • The shoulder mobility screen assesses bilateral shoulder range of motion, combining internal rotation with adduction and external rotation with abduction. It also requires normal scapular mobility and thoracic spine extension. The ability to perform the shoulder mobility test requires shoulder mobility in a combination of motions including abduction/external rotation, flexion/extension and adduction/internal rotation. It also requires scapular and thoracic spine mobility.

  • 6. Trunk Stability Push Up
  • The trunk stability push-up tests the ability to stabilize the spine in an anterior and posterior plane during a closed-chain upper body movement. It assesses trunk stability in the sagittal plane while a symmetrical upper-extremity motion is performed. The ability to perform the trunk stability push-up requires symmetric trunk stability in the sagittal plane during a symmetric upper extremity movement. Many functional activities require the trunk stabilizers to transfer force symmetrically from the upper extremities to the lower extremities and vice versa.

  • 7. Rotary Stability
  • This test is a complex movement requiring proper neuromuscular coordination and energy transfer from one segment of the body to another through the torso. The rotary stability test assesses multi-plane trunk stability during a combined upper and lower extremity motion. The ability to perform the rotary stability test requires asymmetric trunk stability in both sagittal and transverse planes during asymmetric upper and lower extremity movement. Many functional activities require the trunk stabilizers to transfer force asymmetrically from the lower extremities to the upper extremities and vice versa.