functional screen movement

Every person’s body is different, including the way we move. We all have different points of vulnerability that one person can be more susceptible to injury and wear-and-tear while others seem to be doing fine in those same areas. The challenge is that you will only become aware of these points when something wrong happens, like an injury or a puzzling condition. Only then will you be compelled to have a health and fitness check.

There is actually a way to assess your body and possibly point out those vulnerabilities to minimise your risk of being injured. This is where Functional Movement Screens come into play.

What is a Functional Movement Screen?

The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a screening tool to evaluate the seven fundamental movement patterns in individuals to determine the risk of injury or a performance-limiting movement. These are a series of physical tests involving coordination and strength, particularly the core strength of an individual.

FMS was developed by Lee Burton and Gray Cook in 1997. Now, it’s been used by many clinicians and healthcare professionals. The screening puts individuals in extreme positions where deficits in the person’s stability and mobility become apparent. Through FMS, you can find out what fundamental movements are holding you back from maximising your potential.

How Does Functional Movement Screens Work?

A person is subjected to a series of seven movements with a focus on mobility and stability. The movement is then scored on a simple scale:

0 = pain during movement

1 = failed movement pattern

2 = passed but with some compensations

3 = passed with no compensations

The facilitator will then get the total of your scores out of the 21 points you can receive from all seven movements. The average score ranges from 13-15, depending on the age and fitness level. Getting a 1 in a particular section means the movement shouldn’t be trained, but it should be corrected. A score of 0 means you need a medical professional to perform a further evaluation. If you happen to get an asymmetrical score, such as 1 point on one section and 2 points on another, it means those are dysfunctions in movement that need to be addressed immediately. The seven movement patterns involved in FMS are the following:

  • Deep Squat
  • Hurdle Step
  • In-Line Lunge
  • Shoulder Mobility
  • Active Straight Leg Raise
  • Trunk Stability Push Up
  • Rotary Stability

What are the Benefits of a Functional Movement Screen?

There are several benefits to getting a functional movement screen, especially for athletes. As long as you aim to improve your movement and stability and lessen the risk of injury, an FMS is a good option for you. Some common benefits of FMS are as follows:

  • Pain Identification: FMS helps you identify possible pain points that need to be checked out by a competent medical professional.
  • Injury Prevention: Since FMS points out the dysfunction in your movement, it can be used for injury prevention and physiotherapy.
  • Systematic Training Approach: FMS uses a simple checklist with clearly defined criteria, helping coaches understand the training needs of athletes and people concerned about their fitness.
  • Corrective Exercise System: Since you get a better idea of what movement seems to limit you, FMS can also help you correct those movements through an FMS training cycle.


The Functional Movement Screens is an innovative system used to evaluate and document movement patterns crucial to normal functioning. By focusing on those seven fundamental movements, you identify points of vulnerability and do the appropriate corrective action through training or physiotherapy.

If you want to become more active and pain-free, you need to learn the value of injury prevention and physiotherapy. Invigor Health helps you take better care of your body through a prevention-focused approach to physiotherapy. With our running assessment and movement screen programs, we help you future-proof your body. Contact us today for an online consultation.

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