A Summary of the Functional Movement Screen PART I
Updated: May 7
The Functional Movement Screen is a great tool to help fitness professionals get a snapshot view of an individual’s fundamental movement patterns. The FMS consists of seven movement tests that challenge both mobility and stability. The information gained from performing a Functional Movement Screen is used to help make better programming and training decisions. It is not intended to assess or diagnose any type of medical issue or root cause of movement impairment.
The Scoring Criteria
The FMS uses a simple grading system ranging from a score of zero to three. Each individual movement pattern has a certain criteria used to determine the score for the pattern.
The scoring is broken down into these four basic criteria:
3 If the individual can perform the movement without any compensations according to the established criteria
2 If the individual can perform the movement but must utilize poor mechanics and compensatory patterns to accomplish the movement
1 If the individual cannot perform the movement pattern even with compensations
0 If the individual has pain during any part of the movement
The Seven Movement Patterns
The Deep Squat pattern challenges functional mobility and stability of the hips, knees and ankles. The dowel overhead requires mobility and stability of the shoulders, scapular region and the thoracic spine. Pelvis and core stability and control must be established throughout the entire movement to achieve the full pattern
The hurdle step challenges the body’s step and stride mechanics, while testing stability and control in a single-leg stance. The hurdle step requires mobility and stability of the hips, knees and ankles. The test also challenges stability and control of the pelvis and core.
The Inline Lunge places the body in a position to simulate stresses during rotation, deceleration and lateral movements. This test also challenges hip, knee, ankle and foot mobility and stability.
The Shoulder Mobility pattern demonstrates the natural rhythm of the scapular-thoracic region, thoracic spine and rib cage during reciprocal upper-extremity shoulder movements. This pattern also directly looks at shoulder range of motion.
Active Straight Leg Raise
The Active Straight-Leg Raise identifies the active mobility of the hip and looks at core stability within the pattern. it challenges the ability to dissociate the lower extremities while maintaining stability in the pelvis.
Trunk Stability Push Up
The Trunk Stability Push-Up is used as a basic observation of reflex core stabilization, and not so much as a measure of upper body strength. The movement tests the ability to stabilize the spine during the upper body pushing movement.
The Rotary Stability pattern observes multi-plane pelvis, core and shoulder girdle stability during a combined upper and lower extremity movement. The movement demonstrates reflex stabilization, and it represents the coordinated efforts of mobility and stability observed in lower level patterns.