The functional movement screen is now a widely used tool by many strength and conditioning coaches. One of the biggest issues that we focus on here at Kinetic Precision is proper mechanics. We need to make sure we look at the pure movement ability of the athlete. By putting these athletes in semi extreme positions that will force out any compensated movements, we can take a look at the stability and/or mobility at different joints, or of a pattern.
Grey Cook and Lee Burton, the minds behind the Functional Movement Systems, have developed a screen to allow us coaches to look at injury potential and overall weaknesses in basic movement patterns. In todays post I want to focus on the philosophy of training the movement pattern and not the muscle.
The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is composed of 7 movement assessments where you we scored based on joint stability and/or mobility. This is a great tool for us pre-programing because it allows us to take into consideration the individuals fundamental movement issues before we layout a game play. We might find that certain issues are made clear given the results of the FMS. For example, rotary stability is a huge component of most sport and life. An individual involved in the sport of wrestling or lacrosse will require a ton of rotary stability in order to be successful at that sport. If we give that athlete a FMS screen and they score a “1” on the rotary stability, I know that this is a component that I must improve before getting to our more complex movement patterns involving rotary stability.
In training we focus a bit too much on muscles and not enough on movement patterns. I was once told if you can clean up the movement pattern then you can fix the musculature innately. We all have seen various compensations in a squat. If we take a muscular approach there are a million and one different exercises that we can develop and use in order to: strengthen the glutes, adductors and internal rotators of the hip. But why put all of our focus there? Why not just clean up the movement pattern of the squat? If we can clean up the squat technique and reinforce that movement neurologically then we would have fixed the compensation issues and the actual movement itself.
The FMS is a great tool that we use to assess our athletes. In correcting certain issues we need to make sure we focus on movement patterns before musculature. Clean up the movement pattern and myolinate them in the brain and we can fix most underlying issues.