I HATE the Functional Movement Screen
By: Buddy Morris (Coach X)
The two people I trust and admire the most for their knowledge and ability to ”fix” things are my good friend Allan DeGennaro and my little brother, Michael Hope, PT. Neither of them use or agree with the FMS (the latest greatest tool to help make super athletes). It’s funny how the spokes team for the FMS, the Indy Colts, have led the league in injuries the past couple years.
So now you hear, “well they’re coming back and rehabbing quicker.” But that’s not what all the FMS people said in the beginning. It’s like this, when the University of Tennessee and the University of Miami were winning, it was due to the Gail Hatch system. Then, when they started to slide down, Mr.Hatch didn’t take responsibility anymore. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there are no quick fixes or top secret double probation programs and exercises!
As Pavel has said, “you can only do so many corrective exercises, at some point in time you gotta get under a bar!”
Now, let me run a few quotes from the late Mel Siff, who knew a thing or two about training and the human body during movement. Then, I’ll run some Feldenkrias and Better Movement by you and lastly offer my opinion on the subject. So, sit back and enjoy the ride…
“Simply because posture is poor does not mean its pathological. Nor does it mean a person with visually poor posture undoubtedly will suffer from more musculoskeletal problems. Simple isolationist mm testing of trunk or any other muscle cannot determine if one’s muscles will be operating inefficiently or in some state of imbalance in actual multi-angular sporting activity.” – Mel Siff
He goes on to say that, “anything that creates greater awareness of optimal patterns of stability or mobility can help to improve motor skills, posture, and movement efficiency! Awareness training more than any given exercise or therapeutic regime on its own is likely to have a greater impact on improving posture than anything else. Awareness creates cognition, cognition creates motor learning!”
How did we ever participate in sporting activities before the FMS? We are all asymmetrical by nature, it’s how we work!
What do I do to correct my asymmetries? To start, I brush my teeth with my left hand. In fact, I try to do most things left handed. My wife now sleeps on the right side of the bed, me on the left. I get on my Harley swinging my left leg over instead of my right. I also try to walk backwards everywhere I go.
I’ll listen to people who have at least been under the bar. Yes, the developers of the FMS are smarter than me but nowhere as strong, nor have they produced the performance results that I have. A great website to visit is bettermovement.com. There is a great article on the use of the OHS (over head squat). READ IT. Don’t be a lemming, make up your own mind.
I’ve seen athletes pass the FMS with great scores but things suddenly change when you add a “LOAD” or you mechanically stress them. First it was the TA (transverse abdominis) and drawing the belly in. I invite you to do that next time you get under a heavy squat. Then the multifidus, then back stabilization, then patellafemoral issues, then shoulder and thoracic issues, then ankle mobility, NOW it’s all about the hips! Everything that goes wrong is hip related?
We have forgotten how to train and created problems that have no end. We are all individuals, not clones. No one will ever fit the perfect model. Remember Michael Johnson, 400 meter gold medalist and World Record (WR) holder? He ran almost leaning back! Who’s to say he’s wrong? He did what was most efficient and effective for his body. He’s a WR holder, are you going change his running style because it doesn’t fit the perfect model? There’s pros and cons for everything, it’s your body and your decision.
It’s a matter of people who don’t lift weights influencing those that do. Think for yourselves, don’t follow the latest internet-training guru or group of coaches trying to make a buck by showing you they are smarter than everyone else. Don’t do it just to do it! If you want to get fast, SPRINT! Expand the alactic envelope by training in the alactic environment.
I know coaches who refuse to do a standing broad jump because out of all the thousands of athletes that they have trained, one, that’s right one, was injured doing it, so now it a bad exercise or too stressful. Are you kidding me? Pretty soon we’ll all have our athletes doing chair aerobics! The sporting requires proper preparation.
As a trainer, if you watch your athletes move and train, you’ll correct them and make sure things are done properly. Often times irregularities correct themselves! That’s why I coach in small groups, pay attention to detail and coach; that’s what we are paid to do.
In closing, because this is getting me more irritated, if you are telling your athletes that they lift the day after the game due to lactic acid, you are an idiot. The sport ain’t lactic! The soreness and stiffness they are experiencing is from physical trauma from a heightened emotional response to the game. You can’t duplicate that in practice.
Bottom line if you feel the FMS is important then use it. As for me, I think on my own. I don’t use it. Do your own research. At the end of the day, it’s your choice.