My oldest daughter Mikaela was just promoted from eighth grade to high school and, no, FMS is not some short form text messaging acronym. FMS stands for Functional Movement Screening. This has always been a part of our training program at the club, but we have decided to take our screening process up a notch or two by implementing a three-tier system where our trainers, massage therapists and registered dietician spend one hour each with new clients.
The purpose of this is to see where the client stands in terms of strength, flexibility, range of motion, mobility, stability, and knowledge and psychological position on nutrition. Our motto is “Changing Lives” and the best way for us to do this is to get a baseline of where our client stands and as a team, client included, we forge a path toward the goal.
It’s not just about looking better, but being better all around. Just having your body fat at a specific percent or looking the part is not enough. We want our clients to be well-rounded and functional in all areas. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new person or an elite athlete, we can always help someone improve, and it starts with the FMS.
Let me give you 3 Basic FMS tests that you can do right at home or at work.
Deep Overhead Squat
Stand with feet shoulder width apart with toes pointed slightly out. Raise your arms directly overhead and squat where the fold of your hip is below the level of your knee. Key checkpoints are: do your arms lower as you squat down? If yes, your lat muscles are probably tight. Do your heels come off the ground? Your calf muscles are probably tight.
Single Leg Balance
Stand feet together and raise one leg off the ground so the top of your thigh is parallel to the ground. Close your eyes and count how long you can maintain balance without using your arms to airplane to balance. We like to see 10 seconds. If you can’t, start by standing on one foot with eyes open and try to build up your time.
Once you have that down, take a beach towel and fold it up and stand on that with one foot to create instability. These balance movements will force your nervous system to fire and strengthen that neuromuscular connection.
Pelvic Tilt Test
This test is going to test the flexion and extension of the lumbar spine. Stand with feet under hips, cross your arms across your chest. Without moving your upper body, arch your back, go back to neutral or flat back, then tuck your bottom underneath.
Are you able to perform these movements with a full range of motion as shown in the picture? If not, you may have mobility issues in the lumbar spine or strength issues in the abdominal muscles. Is there shaky movement? If so, you may have coordination issues. The hamstring and hip muscles need to be in proper function to be able to perform these motions.
If you are having difficulty performing these movements, it’s time to seek out a professional. When doing so, make sure they are qualified in FMS types and how to prescribe corrective exercise. Most gyms or “boxes” do not perform these movements for their clients, so exercisers beware. Good luck and visit me on Facebook or www.Ramonastrainer.com.
Peter San Nicolas owns Ramona Fitness Center at 544 Main St. He recently was a featured guest on the Denise Griffitts show, Your Partner in Success Radio. To listen to him speak on this topic as well as 6 Elements of a Worthwhile Wellness, look up Peter San Nicolas on iTunes under Denise Griffitts.