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Functional Movement Screens Equal Healthier Athletes!


For as long as I can remember (and that’s been awhile), athlete’s waited in a long line for a quickie exam performed by the team physician and were cleared to participate in various sports and activities. From there, performance tests were administered to see who the real “great athletes” on the team were! These tests included those that sought to see how many pushups, sit-ups, chin-ups, how fast, how quick, how agile, how skilled, etc. You remember, right? The coaches drooling like Pavlov’s Dogs in response to the new talent they’d use to destroy rival opponents for the coming season.


That’s been the usual sequence of events previously. And this sequence to find
talent, in many cases, missed opportunities to also discover why some athletes, even the ones who tested highly, ended up injured during the season. Can injuries to athletes be avoided with the proper testing methods? Can games possibly be won or lost because of faulty testing methods? The answer is a resounding “YES.”


Dysfunctional movement patterns may cause cyclic injuries. Some of these injuries are minor and some are season ending. That’s where the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) comes in. The FMS was created by Gray Cook to identify movement pattern deficiencies that may lead to injury and lack of performance. The FMS consists of seven movements that reveal an “inside out” look of how the body moves in all three planes of motion (sagittal, frontal, transverse).


After administering the FMS to the athlete or “weekend warrior”, a corrective exercise protocol is set in motion to begin the process of re-learning new and healthier movement patterns. These new patterns of movement will keep the athlete healthy and produce  efficient movement which will equal more power, balance, speed, and agility, to name a few benefits. Does this sound like something your team may be interested in?


To give you an analogy, suppose you continue to open and close a door with a faulty working hinge. Chances are after a period of time, that door will either get stuck into position or literally break off the hinge completely, leading to the cost of replacing that door. How much time and money when you’re dealing with an athlete who demonstrates dysfunctional movement patterns? If you load this athlete with a weighted barbell or dumbbells, you have a recipe for possible injury! Replace the hinge, keep the door for a long time! Use FMS, keep your athletes performing at the top of their game!


At Mitchell Fitness Systems, you’ll begin with a thorough initial “Discovery Phase” to determine the athletes medical and exercise history as well as numerous other factors that will give us a complete profile. Next, a full body “Diagnostic Phase” to administer the FMS to diagnose any dysfunctional movement patterns in order to prescribe the best corrective exercise strategies possible. This prescribed plan is called the “Development Phase” that’s specifically designed with the athletes needs and goals in mind.


Many major college and professional teams have implemented the FMS into their programs. If we can begin to implement the FMS early at the High School level, there’s no telling how many unnecessary injuries can be avoided. The goal is to help athletes accelerate and decelerate in all three planes of motion, at various speeds without dysfunctional stress to joints and soft tissue. Keeping athletes healthy throughout the year is one thing, but keeping them healthy during the crucial months of the season when they’re needed, is quite another! Give us a call at 310-961-2610 or email us at info@fitnesscoach4u.com for a quote on getting a FMS completed or for your team!


Trent Mitchell, MS, CSCS, is the co-owner of Mitchell Fitness Systems, Inc. in Torrance, CA., and author of “How to Unlock the Five Doors to Your Best Body: A Fitness Guide for the Serious Couch Potato”, is available for personal training and guest speaking engagements. To contact, call 310-961-2610 or email at info@fitnesscoach4u.com.

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Functional Movement Screen

Screening & Assessment

Mitchell Fitness Systems, Inc.