FMS Wrap-Up

How We Screen Functional Movement (Series): Wrap-Up

This week will be looking at the overall importance of the Functional Movement Screen, as we have previously reviewed all 8 screens that make up the Functional Movement Screen.

We should think about the Functional Movement Screen as we think about blood pressure to cardiovascular health and an eye chart to vision. Just like we need our hearts and eyes to be healthy, so does our musculoskeletal system for us to be able to move effectively and efficiently and reduce our risk to pain and injury. We think very little about how we move on an everyday basis or that our brain is constantly learning new behaviors, good and bad, about how we move. These new movement behaviors referred to as motor control or movement patterns are learned through development in maturation and growth as we go from: lying on our backs -> rolling on our stomachs -> getting up on our hands and knees -> crawling -> sitting -> kneeling -> squatting -> standing -> walking.

We refer to this progression of movement as the developmental sequence and its how all of us learned from infancy how to move around the world that we live in. Fortunately, or unfortunately, as we go moving about the earth through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, we form new habits through movement and positioning with postural and repetitive stresses. This is where we have the tendency to form new learned behaviors. How often do we honestly think about the way that we bend, lift, twist, run, climb, carry, etc.? Probably very little, if at all. We also do not factor in that our bodies and their ability to move change over time due to injury, changes in body composition, the activities that we perform daily, etc.

Throughout time, these changes result in new learned motor control or movement behavior patterns that often are due to compensation, which start to overload or overuse certain areas of our bodies (knees, hips, low back, shoulders, etc.) that can result in pain and injury. This will further complicate the issue and creates new motor patterns till we get to a point that our capacity is no longer able to adapt to the stress and our bodies become less mobile and functional and we stop doing certain activities and limit our quality of life. This is where a screen such as the Functional Movement Screen has incredible value in exposing these potential problem areas before we get to this point. Let’s review the 8 screens of the functional movement screen:

Starting with our Mobility Screens we have:

  1. Active Straight Leg Raise
  2. Shoulder Mobility
  3. Ankle Mobility

Next, our Stability Screens:

  1. Rotary Stability
  2. Trunk Stability Push Up

Finally, our Functional Screens:

  1. Hurdle Step
  2. Inline Lunge
  3. Deep Squat

We will not take the time today to review these tests in their entirety as we have already done that in the previous weeks. If you missed any of these posts, please go back and review. If you have not received them and would like to, please e-mail us at:

The important take home message is again that we have multiple screens with the Functional Movement Screen to have the best opportunity to capture the movement information that we are looking for within the screen. We also have ground rules when it comes to screening:

  1. Mobility before Stability, Stability before Movement, Movement before Strength

In other words, Move Well before you Move Often

  • Protect. Correct. Develop.

In other words, we want quality movement before we want quantity of movement

  • Being accountable to you and to ourselves as movement specialists

The FMS provides us with a baseline to measure progress against. It gives us a tool to prioritize your training and to reduce your risk of injury with our training. It also gives a feedback loop for us to be able to measure your progress to your training plan.

Scoring the screens of the FMS, there are 4 possible outcomes, scored 0-3, each of which gives us guidance and direction into the safety and priorities of your training plan, the 4 possible outcomes are as follows:

0 = pain noted during screen, referral to a medical professional may be necessary for further evaluation (luckily, we have a very well-trained movement medical professional in Dr. Kielbasa, a big advantage to your safety and progress with functional training)

  • These patterns must be protected until we have an answer as to why you are having pain associated with the movement being screened.

1 = no pain, but screen does not meet acceptable standard

  • These are the screens that we will prioritize with corrective strategies to help restore the screened movement back to an acceptable functional level, during which time we will temporarily protect by removing exercises from a program that challenge this dysfunctional pattern. In other words, we do not want to add fitness to dysfunction as this is a significant risk for injury. Once we get these patterns cleared, we will then add the exercises that challenge this pattern back into a client’s program.

2 = no pain, screen is at an acceptable level

  • These patterns are ready to be challenged through conditioning meaning we can strengthen and build performance on to these patterns

3 = no pain, screen is at an optimal level

  • These screens are well prepared to move forward into higher levels of training including strength, speed and power.

The last thing we need to be aware of when scoring a FMS is that we can have asymmetries between the right and left sides, for many of the tests that screen from both sides (ASLR, SM, AM, RS, HS, IL, and DS; all tests with exception of the TSPU). As a result, we could have one side at an acceptable level and the other not meeting an acceptable level, this is what we would refer to as an asymmetry. Asymmetries are a risk factor for injury and as a result these patterns must be temporarily protected while being corrected.

One may think in looking at the scoring for the FMS that the goal is to have a total score of 21 (we score 7 out of the 8 tests, the exception being Ankle Mobility, which is graded according to the degree of movement in the ankle with green being acceptable and red being unacceptable with yellow meaning we need to take caution), since 7×3 (remember 3 = optimal movement) = 21, however research has shown that the primary goal of this screen is to have a minimum of 2s in each of the screens without any asymmetries.

For those patterns that have pain associated with them and potentially require a medical referral, there is a medical assessment, which is a also a part of the Functional Movement Systems, referred to as the Selective Functional Movement Assessment that helps to specifically identify the source of pain, which from there can be properly treated prior to training these painful patterns. Dr. Kielbasa is trained and certified in this Assessment. As a result, ChiroFitt is truly our communities most advanced facility to provide functional training covering all gaps from pain to fitness and getting you on the right path to a healthy and functional musculoskeletal system giving you the ability to live and enjoy life from a movement perspective to the fullest ability that you can!

We hope that this series has provided some insight into why having a method of screening prior to fitness training is so important and why we screen our client’s prior to having them train with us. If you would like to experience the benefits of the Functional Movement Screen and a training program developed specifically for you, please sign up at the link below or contact us, either through email at: or by phone at: (717) 241-9355. Let’s work together on accomplishing goals you may have never thought possible, what’s more important than the body that you live in?

Thanks for your time and we hope to see you soon!

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Get In Touch

Fill in the form below and our team will be happy to assist you

Contact Information


Opening Hours

Monday – Friday 9am-5pm 
Weekend – Closed


524 Railroad Street, Jacksonville, Florida
%d bloggers like this: