New Year’s Day is the time when many people drop bad habits, start eating cleaner, and head to the gym. They have this great plan of going to the gym four times a week, cutting out sugars, with all intentions of losing 10-15 pounds. The first week is getting accustomed to the new lifestyle. The second week, everything is going good until they get back pain doing squats. They stop going to the gym, put on more weight, and are worse than what they were. This all could have been avoided by taking 10-12 minutes and performing a movement screen.
Whether somebody is trying to enhance performance in their sport, lose weight, or learn new skills like kettlebell training, I always screen them using the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). The FMS looks at seven fundamental movement patterns and three pain clearing tests to see if someone has movement limitations, asymmetries, or pain.
The seven movement patterns are:
In Line Lunge
Active Straight Leg Raise
Trunk Stability Pushup
The three pain clearing tests are:
Impingement Clearing Test
Press Up Clearing Test
Posterior Rocking Clearing Test
Without getting into great detail of this simple but brilliant screen, the instructor scores the client on a number scale on all the seven movements and the three pain tests. There are breakdowns of each movement and more technical assessments that can be used but that’s outside the scope of this article.
When the screen is finished, depending on the person’s scores, the instructor will know if it’s a green light to start training or if there needs to be time dedicated to fix some “leaks” in their movement. These “leaks” can really slow or even stop your progress to whatever goal you may have. Even worse, injury may occur. This does not however, mean you need to stop training. Instead, exercises will be used that already have competency.
Again, whether your goal is performance enhancement, fat loss, general fitness, or learning a new skill, take 10-12 minutes and get screened by an FMS instructor. This short screen can save you from injury and increase your chances of success with whatever goals you have.