At Endeavor, we started having FMS meetings where each one of the staff screens someone else. The other staff members serve as another pair of eyes to analyze what score was tallied up and if there was anything missed. Ultimately the goal is to get practice with screening individuals and to achieve consistent scores across the board within the staff to ensure that we are on the same page. If you have not heard of the FMS, you can find out at these websites.
The screen consists of 7 gross motor movement patterns which when limited or asymmetrical can increase the likelihood of injury, decrease body awareness, and overall just destroy what is fundamental to moving well. When scoring the test, we ultimately want to see at least scores of 2’s with no asymmetries between left and right sides. If there are 1’s and other asymmetries we need to address and fix them. It goes back to the quote, “do not build strength on top of dysfunction.” Basically, you can condition as hard as you want, lift as hard as you want, but if you have limitations in these movement patterns, you are putting yourself at some at risk conditions. It is another reason, why assessing people is so paramount when they come into the facility. This is why I am not a big fan of Crossfit, or simply crushing people, because they accept poor movement patterns and more than likely someone coming into your facility is limited in something, it is not for most . Crushing someone (fatigue) with complex movemments is one sure fire way to cause major damage. The only thing I would agree on is that yes, it can spice up your training because you never know what you will get, but believe me there are ways to make training smarter and more effective. It is our job to get people moving better, to do no harm, and then increase the performance qualities.
Anyway, with the FMS there is an algorithm that you would follow in order to fix what needed to be corrected. Listening to a StrengthCoach.com podcast around a month back (I think) I listened to Brett Jones discuss this algorithm. We need mobility before we can demonstrate proper stability. This is why the active straight leg raise and shoulder mobility screens are so important to proper movement.
If these screens are poor, then they manifest themselves in gross motor patterns like the squat, lunge, and hurdle step (single leg stance). A great example would be that scoring poorly on shoulder mobility should influence your programming. You would not have someone perform overhead pressing motions in this situation. Very simply, do no harm. These are just some simple insights into what we learned at the meetings and from other podcasts and athletic development coaches have said. Assessment is where it’s at. You need to assess before you progress. I for one, am pretty excited to be learning this system because it helps you pinpoint movement deficiencies and how to attack them to ensure your athlete’s are moving better, reducing the risk of injury, and improving on their performance.
Lee Burton on the Active Straight Leg Raise