So I know I blah blah blah about the Functional Movement Screen all the time. I do give you a link to go check out more info, but I figured it may be worthwhile to share with readers why a movement screen is pretty helpful if you want to be healthy and hot. Clients know that I won’t train anyone without screening them first. Not only do I use it in my one on one training, but I use it in my Snatched in 6 Weeks Total Body Makeover to help individualize the warmup to the needs of those in the class, as well as prescribe any necessary homework to make sure the body is functioning well before we dive into aggressive training.
The Functional Movement Screen is a brilliant screening tool based on seven basic human movements and three clearance tests that allows folks like me to quickly see if there are any glaring limitations or assymetries in basic movement quality. The screen is scored very simply, and although it’s by definition not a specific assessment, it allows me to get a quick bird’s eye view on how well someone is moving.
Behold, the Deep Squat, one of the 7 screens.
This guy will have no problem
pooping in the woods while drunk.
I guess that depends on how drunk he is.
Now grading “quality” can be tricky. Humans tend to do better focusing on “quantities” because, well, they’re just more… um…. quantifiable. But when you believe that quality of movement must precede quantity of movement, this puts you in a tough situation. Executive Joe looks like a train wreck. But maybe he’s actually ready to rock and has a sound enough foundation to get after his fat loss goals. And World Class Dancer Diane looks like a bad ass. But maybe she has a key assymetry that could lead to an injury down the road if I don’t catch it. What’s a fitness professional to do!?
Enter the FMS. The FMS not only allows me to quickly see what’s going on with someone’s movement, but if there IS something that needs to be addressed, it also gives me a baseline to go back to check my work.
So let’s say someone’s shoulders are mega tight. I have several tools I can use to try to get some more mobility. By being able to go back to the screen right after trying one of these “corrective” exercises, the FMS helps me know for sure whether what I’m doing is working or not. If I get more mobility BOOM. We know what to do. If I don’t get some improvement… well then it doesn’t matter how cool the exercise is or if it’s worked on every other person I’ve ever tried it on. It’s not the ticket for this person in this situation.
Loyal readers know I’m all about metrics: before and after pics, waist measurements, training journals that demonstrate strength gains, etc. I want objective measurements to know for CERTAIN that we’re getting somewhere when pursuing a goal on the road to health and hotness. The genius of the FMS is that it provides a quantifiable approach something that’s qualitiative in nature.
Now I could geek out and talk about the nervous system, and why I think it’s better than other screening tools for fitness professionals. I could say “goniometric” and all sorts of fancy words, but for your purposes, I’ll put it like this: the FMS helps me take better care of you. And honestly? I fucking love you. I really do. If you’re paying me to help you, you’re trusting me with your most sacred possession: your body. Your ability to move is SACRED to me. Furthermore, working with a lot of professional actors and dancers, if they get injured, they don’t get paid. And the FMS allows me to do that job better. I will never ever so long as I live be able to properly thank FMS developers Gray Cook, Lee Burton, and Functional Movement Systems for helping me take better care of you.
Feel free to check out my silly ass FMS video if you’ve missed it thus far. And I’ll be sure to share the link when my article and video get posted on the FMS website as the Featured Functional Movement Expert! I’m reeeeeeal fancy pants-y.