Many gyms and personal training studios offer an assessment to their clients. An assessment is a valuable tool for not only the trainer but also the client. It gives the trainer an idea of how to train a client and where they are fitness-wise but also gives the client a good baseline and goals to shoot for. But what separates these assessments? What is their true purpose? What’s the best? At Body Elite we use the Functional Movement Screen or FMS. Let’s answer these questions and more about our system.
The functional movement screen is an assessment tool used to discover and identify asymmetries in the body that can result in movement deficiencies. Included in this test are several movement patterns that can demonstrate issues in an individual’s movements. The motion patterns demonstrated in this test are basically putting a client into a position where imbalances, instability, and weaknesses become easily noticeable if done improperly. Once a score is given and the weaknesses are identified, a program can be established to help an individual move better.
Why have we chosen the FMS to assess people? Functional training has really come to the forefront in the past couple of years. Functional training is exercises which allow individuals to perform activities of daily life more easily and without injuries. In simple terms, we are aiming to train our movement patterns not necessarily our individual muscles like a bodybuilder would. If this sounds familiar, it is. Look back to our definition of the FMS; an assessment tool used to discover and identify asymmetries in the body that can result in MOVEMENT deficiencies. The functional movement screen is consistent with our training philosophy. Additionally, the FMS was intended to be used to screen a large population meaning individuals of all fitness levels, ages, and backgrounds. Again, consistent with the population we train, it would only make sense to use FMS.
The next obvious question is how good is the FMS? According to multiple studies, the FMS screen has an excellent reliability rating. The lower the score of an FMS test, the greater chance there is for injury to occur. To date, there is not much research to prove what score is optimal to predict injury risk but the consensus is a 14 or below out of 21 indicates a greater chance. Each test is scored on a scale of 0-3. In general, research and studies are positive about the usefulness of the FMS.
In conclusion, our use of the Functional Movement Screen is consistent with our training philosophy and population and their goals. Movement is the most important thing to us. If you can’t move correctly and reinforce bad habits you are basically digging yourself into a bigger hole. Posture and correct movement patterns should be priorities when starting a training program. Using the FMS we can identify more precisely and address these issues right away and achieve your goals quicker.