Functional Movement Screen – London
The Functional Movement Systems (FMS / SFMA), developed by leading us physiotherapists Gray Cook and Lee Burton, is a tool design to assess biomechanical faults and correct movement patterns. In a world dominated by fitness, muscles and fat, it’s easy to forget a basic truth: we train muscles but movement matters. Movement is essential and comes first, fitness is optional and comes next. We mean well when we try and reverse that order and improve our fitness and become more active yet we ignore movement. Our idea is simple:
- Fitness is about increasing metrics: sets, reps, endurance, body shape etc.. essentially rehearsing movement.
- Before we ask people to become super active, for 60 minutes, 3-5 times a week and possibly with heavy weights, maybe we should look at how they do it.
- Is pain a problem? If you’re moving badly, then you are essentially rehearsing a bad move, pain is the result.
- Using the Functional Movement Screen, we can quickly and accurately determine how you move, quickly address any problems we find and make sure that your fitness is based on good function. Good movement mechanics goes a long way!
Some of us have back pain, some of us sits 40 or more hours a week , some of us have mobility and stability deficits and some of us skipped crawling as babies and suffer from co-ordination problems as adults. We all want to look good, improve our fitness, our strength and our physique. Using the FMS (Functional Movement Screen) and a host of methods, we are able to detect and fix what’s broken and choose exercises that target the problem while simultaneously progressing you towards your fitness goals in a safe, efficient manner. Why fight when you can win?
This framework, allows us to make better exercise choices to train you more efficiently and improve your movement within specific kinetic chains. While this means you train safer, improve your posture, movement efficiency and reduce compensations, it doesn't mean you neglect your fitness. In fact, this will help you progress towards a better physique, better strength and a fitter body that agrees with you on multiple levels.
Upon researching, you will find the FMS is being utilized at very high levels with rehab professionals, celebrities, pro-athletes (Golf, NHL, NFL, NBA and more) and even the military special ops (Army Rangers, Navy Seals, FBI etc..). With the sheer amount of resources aimed at these individuals, the use of the FMS is playing a key role to make sure that these guys aren't getting injured as well as to provide them with an edge in their respective field, that no other system can currently match.
Professional movement analysis
- Mobility before stability - If we have a mobility problem, working on stability will actually reinforce an immobile segment. Just look at people with spinal fusion, they are as stable as it gets, they are just not moving anywhere. On the other hand, stiffness is perceived as a mobility problem, but often it hides a stability condition that caused the immobility in the first place.
- Movement Patterns vs weak muscle - If we have a movement pattern problem, the worst thing we can do is "modify" an exercise and ignore the problem. If someone can't squat, why would I have them push ridiculous weight on the leg-press machines to "strengthen" their legs? The problem isn't a weak muscle, it's more likely, inappropriate control of the spine when the hips drives to the ground.
- Stretching - If your hips are locked, your back and hamstrings will take on extra duties, usually resulting in tight hamstrings and sometimes sore lower back. The mainstream approach would be to treat the symptom and stretch. If we never ask why we got tight in the first place, then we never resolve any problems and we are in for some problems.
- Keeping good form - is very important. But you must understand three things:
- It's all about spinal stability, which is largely beyond conscious control if you have movement problems.
- Trying really hard doesn't make problems go away, if you do something wrong you reinforce a problem. Pain is not the problem, it's the result.
- You'd of course need to know what is good form if you even hope to get it.
- Apart from the FMS which isn't in wide use because of it's complexity, fitness professional don't have a movement standard with checks and balances. When a problem is spotted, exercises are done to strengthen an area without understanding that the problem might be sourced in a different area or might not relate to strength. The exercise becomes the test, baseline and confirmation - and when some strengthening is observed, the problem is assumed fixed (false positive).
You may think "I'm burning the calories, so it's no big deal" but you are going to have micro-trauma at some level. Those sheer forces are going into tendons that shouldn't be supporting, joints that shouldn't be gliding or twisting and eventually can result in ankle, hip, back and neck problems - to say the least. Can you still get fit, be lean, muscular or toned without looking at your movement patterns? You can, but doing it with compromised movement will have its consequences. This is not "another trend", this is the gold standard of movement and it is use by the best of the best. The benefit of fixing imbalances, asymmetries and restoring good movement quality extends to everyone.
Whatever your excuse has been for not testing for movement problems and normalizing your movement quality, I don't think you have one anymore.
- Traumatic - Pain (even temporary) changes the way you move.
- Acquired -If spend your time kicking a ball with your dominant leg, you can bet that this leg will become stronger and the other leg will become more stable as you weight shift on to it. What happens when you go later to the gym and practice your squat? Are you really going to weight shift and use your strength equally through both legs?
Some of us come from years of sitting 40, 60 or even 80+ hours a week. Have we acquired some stiffness and postural problems in that time? Yes. And we are dragging them for a ride when we are training, if we don't do something about it.
Moving weights isn't more important than moving.
Another good example is having previous injuries. Quite often, the criteria for discharging a patient is based on the absence of pain, recovery of tissue and restored mobility. We often release patients when they are feeling fine, even though they might still move poorly. What we don't ask is: "is there anything that might have set you up for this injury" as well as whether this injury has changed movement in a way that will cause a recurring injury. The number one risk factor for a future injury is a previous injury. We have to ask why, and is there anything we can do to change that.
To clear things up: it's still important to go to you physio or medical practitioner and treat the injury - but don't stop there. Do a movement screen and make sure you are not set for another injury, especially if you had one already.
You will be taken through a few simple movements that will test how you stabilize, mobilize and move your body through space.,We really do catch a lot when we look at you. Most people are restricted in at least one movement they never knew about. Most people also have a few stronger points to be proud of. The goal is by no means to have perfect movements, just not restricted ones.
Personal analysis of the results will be available to you through the website, This will shed some light and insight, as well as include helpful suggestions on what to avoid and what to include to improve the quality of you training. Of course this is a complex art and science, but knowledge is power and you have to start somewhere.
If you decide, you can always get in touch at any stage and do some professional training with Movement First. The screen is at the heart of the training, and it will be used to adapt the training to you and you to your training. Our goal is to make sure you reach your goals, as modest or awesome as they might be, while improving your score and getting you more functional. You will feel better, you will move better and you will see results. Guaranteed.
- Wearing comfortable shoes and clothes that allow for good movement (i.e. not jeans). Also it's ideal to wear short clothes so we can observe your range of motion better. There are changing rooms & lockers available.
- Fresh. The 7 tests will challenge your balance and alignment (so make sure you are not exhausted / hungover).
- Cold - Please do not warm up, do any foam rolling or stretching prior to the testing. Any of these might temporarily affect the results. Light warm-up to get the blood going (i.e. a few minutes on the cross trainer / treadmill) is fine.