The Functional Movement Screen is a 7 step process that looks at your Functional and Fundamental Movement Patterns.

The 7 Step Assessment allows us to rank your ability to perform the movement pattern and then devise a corrective exercise program to improve these mobility, motor control or strength deficits.

There has been a number of research studies published which show that those individuals scoring less than 14/21 are 3.85 times more likely to be injured.

Information from the Functional Movement Screen allows the therapist then to focus on improving these areas of deficits so that you can improve your functional movement patterns and reduce your risk of injury.  Whilst many people would think that the Functional Movement Screen is only applicable to the elite athlete, this in infact incorrect.  The Functional Movement Screen can be used on all individuals, whether you are a sedentary worker wanting to improve your general wellbeing, the sub elite athlete who plays mid week or weekend sport or the elite athlete.

What are the 7 steps.  Using the FMS kit, the therapist will take you through 7 assessments, starting firstly with the functional movement patterns.

1.  Overhead Squat

2.  Single Leg Step

3.  In Line Lunge

These are functional movement patterns that we as human beings perform everyday.  The squat pattern, single leg step and lunge patterns form the basis of many movements that we perform each day.

The last 4 assessments look at Fundamental movements and include:

4.  Active Straight Leg Raise

5.  Shoulder Mobility

6.  Push Up

7.  Rotatory Stability

The thing about the Functional Movement Screen is that it must be performed the same by everyone.  This allows for it to be reproducible across all people.  The Functional Movement Screen has also had research published which shows that the inter and intra reliability of testing is quite high compared to many other orthopedic and movement assessments that we perform as therapists.

How will you be ranked?

The Functional Movement Screen is ranked 3= perfect technique, 2=dysfunctional technique (that is you can perform the movement but it isn’t perfect), 1= cannot perform the technique.  A score of 0 = pain.  There are also a couple of clearing tests that must be performed that the individual must pass.  These are ranked as pass fail.

This screen can be completed very quickly and a score of 0 = pain indicates that the individual should see a primary health care practitioner (osteopath, physiotherapist) to have their condition diagnosed and treated before commencing exercise.  Lower scores and asymmetries must be addressed first in the fundamental movements before functional movement patterns are addressed.  It has been shown that improvements in the fundamental movement patterns will result in improvements in the functional movement patterns.  The great thing about the Functional Movement Screen is that deficits in movement, motor control and stability will show up in several areas.

Example.  Shoulder restriction/mobility issues.

The individual is likely to have issues often holding the stick above head correctly in an overhead squat.  They may also have issues with the in-line lunge and single leg step up.  This will be again tested in the shoulder mobility assessment.

Whilst many practitioners and conditioning people will take their clients through their own version of the Functional Movement Screen, this testing procedure has been practiced time and time again by many Functional Movement Screen practitioners (check out for therapists in your area.

Osteopath Heath Williams is a registered Functional Movement Screen Practitioner and has completed Level 1 and 2.  He consults out of Principle Four Osteopathy, which is one of Melbourne City CBD 3000 leading Osteopathic clinics. We are located at 29 Somerset Place, Melbourne City CBD 3000 (near the corner of Little Bourke & Elizabeth St).  Melbourne City CBD 3000.  To book a Functional Movement Screen with Osteopath Heath Williams, please go to

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