Functional Movement System to Evaluate Athletes
In the last several years, there has been a big push toward functional integrated strength training. There are more CrossFit gyms today then even one year ago, making it obvious that the trend is moving away from traditional weight training. But what happens if a relatively new gym member or even an experienced one ramps up their training, taking  a Kettle Bell class or boot camp. What happens if these new athletic moves are performed improperly? The answer is simple: They get injured. They stop going to the gym. They stop running.

As a Physical Therapist, I have always been interested in the runner's gait; how I can effectively determine one's weakest link and improve their running economy. Historically, in the clinic, we have used our static musculoskeletal exams, and if we were lucky enough to have a video system, we would do a motion analyisis. These tools would offer snapshots of how athletes were moving and how and where they would compensate for their muscular imbalances. Although both rendered the necessary information, I felt that there were situations which would benefit from a combination of looking at the kinetic chain along with the information gathered from the physical exam.

If these trends are here to stay, it is even more important to make sure that our athletes are training successfully, avoiding the pitfalls of poor movement patterns.  So, in the last year, I became FMS certified. FMS stands for Functional Movement System. It is designed to highlight asymmetries within movement patterns. The purpose of the  screen, which consist of seven tests, is to build a corrective exercise program for the athlete, tracking performance so that at any level of fitness, the athlete continues to focus on their overall total body fitness and genuine endurance for the long term. The FMS screen is a useful tool to look at any athlete: from the casual gym-goer, to the field and racquet athletes, and lest we forget the many runners that have benefited from the screen.

 By Barbara Lakis, P.T.