Pyramid Scheme?


In the blog post titled Functional Performance Pyramid Question, Charlie Weingroff shares his opinion of the limits of the Functional Movement Screen. He was nice enough to share his suggestions on correcting the impairments, and coming from a powerlifter with impressive numbers, his perspective as physical therapist is a great value. Many coaches came to some disagreement went discussing such conclusions though regarding the role of the FMS and Charlie’s approach on what is a logical way to help improve the athlete.

This is exactly a very exciting question because it demonstrates/redefines the basic nature of the FMS. It seems to be confusing that the FMS comes out with a high score, but there is still biomechanical dysfunction in tasks of bigger intensity. A pet pieve of mine is when folks say the FMS isn’t this, or it’s not that, and they might use an situation like Nate’s here as their evidence. How good is the FMS when this person’s knee still buckles when he hops? Well, I think the FMS worked perfectly in terms of identifying R/L asymmetries and major problems. It doesn’t mean awesome or monster or bulletproof. It screens only for fundamental movement and uses that as the foundation for the Functional Performance Pyramid.

A person’s knee buckling when he hops is a major problem! Dysfunction at high intensities and velocities is the zone of injury and the FMS didn’t find it. Can we all agree that the high score demonstrates that the FMS has a limit? I can’t tell if one leg or both leg’s have the problem jumping but I would argue that jumping should be fundamental.

So this individual has a large bottom of the pyramid, but he has an even larger middle of the pyramid. The Triple Hop movement is not a fundamental movement test, but a performance test. The FMS does not screen for performance. If this young man has a 35″ vert, his engine is too powerful for the frame of the car, even though the frame is pretty good.

Not a fundamental movement? Says who? I can’t imagine a basketball coach having a rash of ACL injuries having a strength coach saying Sorry jumping is not fundamental and we only screen functional movements not performance tests. Shouldn’t training and testing be integrated at all times with all movement?

If we are looking at single-leg issues, I would go to Chop/Lift series or even regressions with things like KB Halos or manual resistance in the half-kneeling position..

Not one time in the post was actual jumping suggested, making me wonder is this where we are going? Is it foolish to think working on breaking down why he can’t jump on one leg and making that athlete good at landing and jumping on one leg overly simplified? While root issues are a problem (joint structure) where is trouble shooting on the motor skills and general lower extremity weaknesses? Many coaches are left wondering what to believe and what to do with what was considered obvious. With limited time and with large groups of athletes many coaches are throwing their hands up in the air with this gray area of training.

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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