Recent Resarch on the FMS

Posted In: Blog Discussion

  • Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #17940

    Many like Carl, Vern and myself have doubted the efficacy of the Functional Movement Screen from before it became common practice in the fitness / performance industry. While many people still use it today, there’s a growing body of research to support our initial impressions. Here are two studies that were posted on the Supertraining Mailing list that I thought would be good to add here. Note al

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    Carl Valle
    Participant
    Carl Valle on #112040

    Any comments? Any time research exists that doesn’t agree with the gurus things are usually silent.

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    Participant
    Craig Pickering on #112042

    Isn’t the FMS used as a test to ascertain injury susceptibility through faulty movement patterns and/or movement inhibition?

    If so, testing the effectiveness of the FMS on performance enhancement isn’t valid – it isn’t supposed to improve performance, rather identify potential injury issues. Once these issues have been identified, they can then be rectified.

    I have never really payed much attention to the FMS except in passing, so I may be way off.

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    oshikake@ymail.com on #112048

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    Carl Valle
    Participant
    Carl Valle on #112049

    JC,

    That was perhaps the worst example, since the same video showed Ben who had a 600 + squat dominating Carl Lewis who did after his back injury was fixed. I guess two lessons can be learned.

    (1) While he may have had an injury from something close to randomness and was structurally damaged, he was able to squat later on.

    (2) Those that were faster than Carl squatted.

    Bonus: JC don’t you think that if you started making changes you would run fast than 7.3 in the 60?

    Carl Valle
    Participant
    Carl Valle on #112050

    Isn’t the FMS used as a test to ascertain injury susceptibility through faulty movement patterns and/or movement inhibition?

    If so, testing the effectiveness of the FMS on performance enhancement isn’t valid – it isn’t supposed to improve performance, rather identify potential injury issues. Once these issues have been identified, they can then be rectified.

    I have never really payed much attention to the FMS except in passing, so I may be way off.

    Valid argument but isn’t strength or lack of it a cause of injury? If I had weak gluteus or hamstrings isn’t that a part of the screening process? What we have learned is that successful golfers are more explosive in the legs, not have the ability to do well in 7 tests. Look at the article on the second part of the blog entry. What do you think about that study?

    How do we define functional?

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    Participant
    Craig Pickering on #112051

    In some cases, lack of strength is a cause of injury – in other cases not. If we use me as a real world example, at my peak I can back squat 200+kg, but I can’t do an overhead squat as described on the FMS. This is because I lack ankle flexibility and thoracic/shoulder mobility. These issues predispose me to injuries; I have on/off Achillies tendonitis potentially caused by tight ankle, and I fairly regularily suffer some sort of shoulder injury when training. In this instance, the FMS isn’t measuring performance, but potential injury mechanisms (either from training or competition).

    With regards to golfers, I am sure successful golfers are more explosive in the legs. But a large part of the golf swing involves rotational forces. Failure to correctly absorb these forces could lead to injury – such as knee ligament issues a la Tiger Woods. If Tiger could have done some sort of test that showed he was pre-determined to suffer knee ligament issues due to rotation, he could have potentially spent time addressing these issues. Would they have made him perform better at gold? Potentially not. But he might have stayed injury free for longer. (Ill put a disclaimer here – I know nothing about golf!)

    On a personal note, I hate doing things like the FMS because I am rubbish at everything except running fast. A lot if the movements are largely co-ordination based, which is a weakness of the FMS as it doesn’t test for specific muscular weaknesses or joint impingement.

    Im not saying the FMS is great, because it isn’t. Its a gimmick invented to create money for its producers. My initial issue was the validity of one of the papers. Im not sure I fully understand the second study (is it saying that interventions based on initial FMS scores had no effect on FMS re-test?). Either way, I think SOME form of pre-screening is neccessary for injury prevention. Im sure there are better and more precise ways to do this rather than the FMS, but it is better than nothing. When I was 16 I had a full-body movement review carried out. I still have the report, and some of the issues thrown up lead to long term chronic injuries, or pre-disposed me to some acute injuries I suffered. Other issues that were thrown up have (so far!) had no effect on me whatsoever.

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    oshikake@ymail.com on #112056

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    Participant
    R.Kennedy@ulster.ac.uk on #112069

    [quote author="Craig Pickering" date="1320548250"]Isn’t the FMS used as a test to ascertain injury susceptibility through faulty movement patterns and/or movement inhibition?

    If so, testing the effectiveness of the FMS on performance enhancement isn’t valid – it isn’t supposed to improve performance, rather identify potential injury issues. Once these issues have been identified, they can then be rectified.

    I have never really payed much attention to the FMS except in passing, so I may be way off.

    Valid argument but isn’t strength or lack of it a cause of injury? If I had weak gluteus or hamstrings isn’t that a part of the screening process? What we have learned is that successful golfers are more explosive in the legs, not have the ability to do well in 7 tests. Look at the article on the second part of the blog entry. What do you think about that study?

    How do we define functional?[/quote]

    There is no evidence in the study cited to suggest ‘successful golfers are more explosive in the legs’. This type of study simply shows a significant difference between male and female golfers for the variables tested (sprint,agility & jump capacity). When the combined group data (male & female) is plotted on a scatter graph you get a predictable significant correlation and then it is used to conclude that ‘1RM squat determination as a very important assessment tool as a component for determination of athletic performance’ – please!!

    I am always amazed when this type of study gets published in a peer-reviewed journal. As Craig mentioned the FMS was never designed to predict performance – so what was the rationale for the study?

    Carl Valle
    Participant
    Carl Valle on #112072

    Rodney,

    I would argue the purpose of the study was to indeed show no relationship. And wouldn’t a poor performance in performance be a flag for injury? Someone could get plenty of physio work and be loose as a goose, learn the tests, and get 21s. Then tear their ACL because they are weak.

    I don’t think the study was perfect (far from it) but what about the validity of the other studies? What are your thoughts on those.

    Craig,

    If you were screened to have poor ankle and shoulder issues, the medical staff couldn’t fix that? Was it genetic so you are doomed or is this something more manageable? Anything specific on the ankle or shoulder?

    Thanks for your openness.

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    star61 on #112073

    This study would hold my interest a little more if it were conducted on athletes. I don’t want to get into a discussion on the definition of an athlete, but MANY pro golfers have been living proof over the years that you don’t have to be strong, athletic, or even fit, to be a great golfer. Way, way too much technical skill involved. The lack of correlation says nothing about the test per say, more about the notion that you would expect to see good correlation between sport performance and ANY test that relies on athleticism, strength, etc. if performance in the sport itself doesn’t actually rely primarily on the same.

    Would anyone expect to see a corrleation between athleticism and croquet?

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    oshikake@ymail.com on #112165

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