What to take from the FMS

This isn’t just a bunch of people sleeping on the job.  We didn’t train so hard they passed out…


For those of you who have completed an FMS (Functional Movement Screen) before, you may have an idea of what this whole thing is about.  For those who haven’t, here’s an overview…

The FMS is a series of 7 different fundamental movement patterns scored on a points scale (3 = perfect, 2 = good with some faults, 1 = you showed up today).  So a perfect score on these series of patterns is 21 and a “passing” score is 14.  I say passing, because, anything lower than a 14, your likelihood of a non-contract injury skyrockets… No bueno…


This means you injured yourself in a way that doesn’t include dropping a barbell on your head.


The notion is if your movement is broken on a fundamental level (which is what the FMS screens for), it is definitely broken when we add intensity, density, explosiveness, etc.

Enough of that.  For those of you who completed the screening process, what do we do with the scores?

Well, the first thing we look at is total score.  And as I said, lower than a 14 and we have some issues that need to be resolved now.  Not later.  Now.

The next things we look at are any asymmetries (does one side work differently than the other), 1’s, and the order of operations/necessities on the patterns themselves.


So… there are priorities but generally, we need to address things in this order.


Well, if you find yourself with some asymmetries (a score of a 1/2, a 1/3, or a 2/3), let’s get that straightened out.  If you find yourself with pain, contact a PT, chiropractor, an ATC, or someone who deals with those types of things.  If you find yourself with a pair of 1’s, let’s make those better.

Just like sitting all day long can, and will, cause you a lot of grief in a lot of different ways, doing these corrective exercises daily (and even multiple times in the day) will help you move in the other direction.  The more you do them, the better you’ll be, and the more quickly you can get there.

Lastly, if you notice that you score 1’s or asymmetries in certain movements, and you also notice that doing certain things when you train are very difficult, if not impossible, it’s a safe bet you shouldn’t be doing those things.  Those movements need to be fixed before you can go back to doing them.

For example, if your ASLR (active straight leg raise) is a pair of 1’s (so your legs don’t move through their full range of motion, actively), and you notice your deadlift makes your low back sore, this is not a coincidence.  Don’t do it.  Let’s find another way.


If you’ve done the FMS, hack away at those corrective exercises.  If you haven’t done your FMS, get in and let’s do it!