Why YOU need to understand why we screen YOU

One question that I have been getting a lot since we announced that we would be adding the Functional Movement Screen into our program is:

‘Why?!’

So I wrote this article to explain to YOU, the client (or Improvement Warrior) exactly why and exactly what the Functional Movement Screen will do for you.

But first exactly what is the FMS:

It was originally developed by Gray Cook and Lee Burton to screen athletes for mobility, motor control and/or stability issues. It has since been discovered that it can do the same and help the general population. Although here at Improvement Warrior Fitness we consider all of our clients to be ‘Athletes’, and the FMS is just one way (a major way) to help our Athletes get better and improve everyday!

The goal of the screen is to reduce compensation and decrease injury risk.

It is made up of 7 different tests and 3 pain clearing tests. You will be able to click on each test to see what each one is and how to perform it (not ready yet)

The results will then let the coaches of Improvement Warrior Fitness know what the best plan of attack is in terms of your programming, what exercises you need to avoid, and what corrective exercises you need to do. However if you continue training with imbalances or using compensation from other muscles during certain exercises that are not supposed to be assisting you will not be getting better, you will be getting worse. And you will be increasing your risk for injury.

You may think that you don’t need to be screened because you don’t have any injurries, or you feel fine, or think that you move fine— But the FMS Screen is designed to help reduce the risk of injury, not prevent them after they occur. I thought I didn’t need the screen, thought I would nail a 19 or 20 score easily– but my ego was brusied when I scored a 14, my biggest problem was an asymmetry with the shoulder mobility test. The combined average score for the 2009 Combine athletes going into the NFL draft was just 12.86– that made me feel a little better.

Step #1- It is Temporary-

Once the coaches at IWF screen you, you may or may not need correctives and we may have to take certain exercises away from you- TEMPORARILY. The FMS has a hierachy that has been proven to work time and time again. This is what we follow. The hierachry has been shown to work very quickly in some cases. So just know if we take an exercise away we are not doing it forever, only until we can ‘fix’ the movement pattern issue.

Step #2- The “Temporary’ might just be what’s holding you back

Most likely when we do ‘remove’ an exercise from your program and start to assign corrective exercises to fix the pattern, please understand that that exercise might have been causing you to slow your progress or even halt it. But once we fix it you should be able to train harder and get stronger overall. Which will cause you to burn more fat, increase your metabolism and look better naked– all those good things 🙂

Everyone hits a platuea at some point, but doing the corrective exercises that the FMS Screen deems nessecary to hit will help break past that plateau to greater gains and performance.

Improvement Personified.

Step #3- Correctives IMPROVE Results

A lot of clients think that they need super hard exercises to get the best results- Burpees, animals, jumping, heavy swings, super duper burpees, etc……. But if you are doing any of those exercises with a movement fault it’s only going to hurt you. And doing an easier exercise will always Trump a harder exercise that you have to use compensation to complete. When you have a movement pattern dysfunction, the corrective exercise is always best for that pattern. And remember, it’s Temporary. I know all of our Improvement Warrior Athletes want to do Super Duper Burpees all day long :mrgreen

Step #4- Pretend you are a car

Here’s a simple analogy: Pretend you are driving a car at 100 miles an hour, but you have the parking brake on and your wheels are out of alignment. If you ignore it the car will eventually break down, costing you hundreds, maybe even thousands, maybe even 10’s of thousands if you need to get a new one.

The same thing happens to your body. Sometimes you just need a tune up. The FMS screen is our ‘tune-up ‘tool’

Step #5- Improvement Everyday

It might be tough to hear that you might not be able to perform one of your favorite exercises that we do in class for a while, while others are allowed to do said exercise. Myself and the coaches at IWF are constantly learning and educating ourselves about the best training practices. Our #1 goal is to keep you safe and injury free, then improve performance, body, health. You can’t get better if you are injured. The FMS screen is one of those things that we have learned will help our Athletes 100% of the time. Go back and read step #4 again. We are all about IMPROVEMENT at IWF!

Step #6- No Pain, No Gain

There are a lot of myths in the fitness industry and this is one. I get it that a lot of you like to feel tired and sweat and sore the next day to feel that you got a good workout in. But that shouldn’t be an indicator of progress. Getting better and Improvement should be. However, joint pain during your workout is UNACCEPTABLE!! This will occur if you are use faulty movement or compensatory movement. This is what the FMS screen will help us prevent, or fix if it is already present.

Step #7- You have to train smart, to improve everyday. 

Example of not training smart is myself. About once ever 2  months I do a challenge workout. It’s more mental then physical, but I’m usually sore and my joints are jacked up for 5-7 days after. It throws my whole other training schedule off. One of those challenges was 1000 burpees, which I did in 2:23. Do you think I was using correct mechanics and perfect form on all 1000 reps- Nope! I couldn’t feel my arms for the majority of the reps (or my jaw for that matter).

So everyday focus on improving, the coaches will help you out. Perfect reps. That is what was after. That is how you get stronger. Day by day.

Stay strong, Stay Positive, Be The Improvement Warrior