What it is and why we use it.

You may have heard the term Functional Movement Screen (FMS) thrown around in the gym or with a trainer or therapist, but are you familiar with the way it works and its implications for both your health and your workout routine? The FMS was developed to identify and provide direction in correcting the muscle weaknesses and imbalances that develop in our bodies over time. In terms of creating personalized exercise routines and aiding in injury prevention, it’s one of the most important things we do here at Red Run Fitness.

The FMS is not a system designed for athletes; it is a system designed for anyone wishing to alleviate pain and stiffness, avoid injury and improve everyday motor function and strength.

The FMS works by measuring specific movement patterns that have been identified as necessary to, or a part of, normal body function. There are seven movements we ask participants to demonstrate, and each are scored on a 0-3 scale. A score of 0 is given if a person experiences pain with the activity, a score of 1 if an individual cannot complete the movement, a score of 2 if the movement is completed but with evident compensation to correct an imbalance or weakness, or a score of 3 is the participant has no problem with the movement.

Here are the seven tests:

  • Deep squat
  • Hurdle step
  • In-line lunge
  • Shoulder mobility
  • Active straight leg raise
  • Trunk stability push-up
  • Rotary stability

Through these tests, we can assess and document each person’s individual movement patterns, which then tell us a great deal about an individual’s specific muscle weaknesses, left and right side imbalances, possible sources of pain and risk of injury. Most of us have asymmetries or imbalances which develop and are exacerbated through the activities of our daily life. This can occur during puberty as our bodies grow, as a result of taking part in certain sports or activities, or over the many hours spent sitting at a desk. Because our bodies learn to compensate, often in ways that can be unsafe and damaging, these limitations can go undetected for years, making our workouts less efficient.

At Red Run Fitness we want to tailor workouts and exercise schedules to the individual, so that each person gets what is needed out of his or her time at the gym, and workouts are as efficient and effective as possible at improving body movement and function and decreasing the risk of injury. Based on the results of the FMS, we place our patrons in specific corrective exercise classes, limited to eight people, that are designed to resolve limitations, correct muscle imbalances, and ensure that participants are moving as efficient as possible in the gym and in their daily lives.

The FMS is not a system designed for athletes; it is a system designed for anyone wishing to alleviate pain and stiffness, avoid injury and improve everyday motor function and strength. This screen teaches us to work with our bodies, rather than working against them in ways that are uncomfortable and damaging. Additionally, results from the FMS create a functional baseline for measuring progress. There is nothing more motivating than being able to see the results of your efforts!

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