The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a system used to evaluate movement pattern quality for athletes and patients. These movement patterns require a balance of stability and mobility and enhance imbalances and weaknesses by placing the individual in intense positions. The seven tests include: deep squat, hurdle step, in-line lunge, shoulder mobility, active straight leg raise, trunk stability push up, and rotary stability. While most test functional movement, the “trunk stability push up” and “rotary stability” assess fundamental core strength and stability.
The best way to learn these rehab screening tests is to practice them on ourselves and assess the movement patterns of our classmates.
Upper Left: Dr. Wieland assessing Chris’s core strength as he performs the “trunk stability push up.” He is also evaluating Chris’s scapular positioning during that test.
Upper Right: Vince and Jared evaluating Zach’s functional shoulder mobility.
Lower: Zach is performing the Active Straight Leg Raise test, while Vince assesses his hamstring and gastro-soleus flexibility. Zach is also maintaining a stable pelvis and active extension of the opposite leg to appropriately conduct this test.
I learned that I have greater shoulder mobility one my left side than my right side, which is understandable as I am left-handed. I should focus on training my right side to become stronger and to increase range of motion. Completing these tests enabled us to learn whether we should train or correct specific movement patterns. Dr. Wieland then taught us different exercises we can perform to focus on training the weak muscles. For example: when laying prone (face down) and elevating my leg straight, we determined that my hamstrings fire first before my gluteus muscles. Dr Wieland taught me how to focus on activating the gluteus muscles first when performing a bridge exercise to strengthen and train those muscles.
In regard to the image of Dr. Wieland assessing Chris’s core strength as he performs the “trunk stability push up,” this test is useful to test the ability to stabilize the spine in a sagittal plane during a closed-chain upper body movement. Many activities like blocking in football or jumping for rebounds in basketball require the trunk stabilizers to transfer force symmetrically from the upper extremities to the lower extremities. If there isn’t sufficient stability, that would yield poor functional performance and increased risk for injury. Learning about FMS in our Functional Rehabilitation course provides another tool in our toolbox to help assess and aid future patients.