Integrated Fitness Systems as well as many trainers at Evolution Trainers ( use the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) for assessing their clients, and you might wonder why.

Developed by well-known physical therapist Gray Cook, the FMS ( is a an assessment tool comprised of 7 different movements. A departure from traditional tests and assessments, the FMS movement assessments are evaluating mobility and stability throughout the body. Each movement pattern evaluates the client bilaterally, so asymmetries between the right and left side can be identified.

Why focus on mobility and stability, and why not start with tests of strength, power or static flexibility? Testing strength and launching into a strength training program without first evaluating a client for general movement dysfunction would be akin to building a beautiful house on a foundation of loose sand… looks great but it’s going to fall apart! Similarly, adding strength or performance training onto faulty movement patterns due to lack of mobility and stability is a recipe for injuries.

The FMS efficiently assesses joint mobility and stability, and creates a clear path for the coach or trainer to follow when designing a client’s training program. For each assessment in the FMS, there is a series of corrective exercises designed to improve performance in the deficient area as identified by the particular FMS assessment. Improving on these primitive movement patterns has been shown to produce wide ranging positive results that include: injury prevention, pain reduction, performance improvements and increased cognitive functioning.

Below: Kelby Klosterman demonstrates 2 of the movement assessments, the stepover (pictured on the left) and the in-line lunge (pictured on the right).

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