What it is:
The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a quick and simple tool used to grade how well you move, administered by a physical therapist. The screen will place you in seven fundamental movement patterns where weaknesses and imbalances become noticeable if appropriate mobility and/or motor control is not utilized. Scores are then used to generate individualized corrective exercises to address any mobility or motor control concerns.
What it matters in Crossfit:
Because these limitations and asymmetries create an environment for compensations and inefficiency, not addressing them can lead to reduced training effectiveness, distorted body awareness, and a 3-5x increase in risk for injury.
What to expect:
The one-on-one movement consultation with the physical therapist will last approximately one hour. Wear comfortable workout clothing and the shoes you regularly work out in. This isn’t a workout. You’ll move through 7 movement patterns, 3 clearing tests, and be done. Having said that nutrition before the screen really doesn’t matter. You don’t need to schedule a specific rest day right before the screen either, however no one moves well after a Murph day, so plan accordingly.
After the screen you’ll be given a score out of 21 possible points. The goal is not to get a perfect score on the FMS, but to get into a safety zone to limit risk, as demonstrated by a score of 2 or better on each test and without asymmetries.
Based on the score results, individualized corrective exercises will be provided and reviewed with you. You can then expect to do those exercises 3-4 times a week in a 15-minute session or less.
Finally, a re-screen isn’t mandatory, however if you score 13 or below on your initial screen, it is highly recommended after you’ve been working on your corrective exercises and made improvements.
What it is not:
The screen is not intended to diagnose injuries, measure isolated joint movement, or determine why a dysfunctional or faulty movement pattern exists. If you’re currently experiencing regular pain with a motion or activity it would best to consult with the physical therapist on whether consideration for the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) may be better suited.
What it costs:
Tundra Athletes: $65
Rescreen (recommended to be done at least 30 days after initial screen)
Tundra Athletes: $35
What to do next:
To answer any questions or schedule a movement screen consultation, contact Nikki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Still not convinced you would benefit from the Functional Movement Screen? Listen to what the FMS founder, Gray Cook, has to say about the screen and it’s role in Crossfit during a podcast interview with Dr. John Rusin for Tnation.com at functionalmovement.com/articles/Screening/2015-07-29_what_makes_crossfit_so_special.
For more information on the Functional Movement Screen please check out functionalmovement.com.