Using the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) With Teams

By Uncategorized

If you are reading this post, you probably know what the FMS is and how to perform the screen.  If not, I highly recommend you check out Gray Cooks website to learn more and to find out about certifications etc about the FMS.

Using the FMS on individual clients is relatively straightforward.  Screen them, score them, apply the correctives, train, a few weeks later screen them again, then send them home.  What if you are training a team?  The idea of the functional movement screen is that everyone is different, each person has developed their own compensation or poor movement pattern over time in some fashion, and doing the same things with everyone won't be effective.

But there are strategies you can use to help your team, especially with limited resources.  First, you need to thoroughly screen the entire team, and remember: when in doubt, score low.  Second, you need to track the entire teams FMS scores, both individually and averages for the team.  You need to do this for multiple reasons:

First, it shows individuals who are at extreme risk for injury, and should be medically cleared before activity, especially if they have multiple zeros (pain when performing the movement).

Second, it shows individuals whose total score is low, especially if multiple 1s or discrepancies between right and left side were observed.  If you have the time and resources, you can individually apply correctives to these people to get their number to that magic 14.

Third, and this is where most coaches can find a huge benefit in applying the FMS to their programming, you can see team trends and averages.  Knowing that the team collectively scored poorly on, say, Shoulder Mobility, you can plan in corrective exercise for these movements into your programming.  These correctives can be addressed as a part of a warmup, or as active recovery between their main training movements.

So how do you keep track of the correctives you are applying?  Simple, first make the series of corrections you want to use, it can be as simple as 1 or 2 exercises designed to help the movement.  Be sure to use a logical progression of correctives, and always go too slow rather than too fast with progressions.

Training time is very valuable, in both collegiate and private settings because the time you have is limited with your athletes.  Once you have applied a series of corrections, in this case to the Shoulder Mobility, there is no need to re-screen every athlete for every test, simply test a small sample of athletes with the screen you have been applying correctives to.  If you have increased the average score to an acceptable level, you can then move on to the next series of correctives for a different screen.