A Night Out: Functional Movement Screening

November 19, 2014

November 19, 2014

A few weeks ago my friend Emily invited me to a Functional Movement Screening (FMS) that the DC Capital Striders was hosting.  At that time I had no idea what a Functional Movement Screening was, but since it was free and nearby I thought it would be an informative event to attend.

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Image: Rose Physical Therapy Group

The FMS was provided by Rose Group Physical Therapy in the Dupont Circle/Farragut North area.  We arrived to their offices, signed in, and proceeded to the backroom where we were instructed to take off our shoes.

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Image: DC Capital Striders Running Group

The Rose PT team introduced themselves and we paired off. The FMS assesses seven movement patterns and three clearing tests to identify weaknesses and muscle imbalances so that you can correct them before they cause major injury/problems.  The team guided us through ten exercises and the PT helped us assess each movement on a scale of 0-3:

  • 0 – Movement was painful
  • 1 – Inability to perform or complete a functional movement pattern
  • 2 – Ability to perform a functional movement, but with compensation
  • 3 – Ability to perform a functional movement without compensation

We were given separate scores for our right and left legs depending on the exercise.  Below is a picture of Emily performing the Rotary Stability (scored 0-3).  Sometimes it was nerve wrecking to perform the exercise if you were the last to go (which meant all eyes on you).

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Image: DC Capital Striders Running Group

Below we were performing the Posterior Rocking Clearing Test (scored by indicating if we had pain or not).

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Image: DC Capital Striders Running Group

After the exercises were performed we took our raw scores and translated them to total scores.  If I received a “2” raw score for the left leg and a “3” raw score for the right leg would receive a “2” for the final score (total score reflected the lower number of the two).  The total scores were summed up for a final score – which indicated the risk level for injury:

  • Score 17 or higher: Low risk of injury
  • Score 12-16: Moderate risk of injury
  • Score 11 or lower: High risk of injury

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How did I do?

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I had a total score of 14, which meant I had a moderate risk of injury.  After we totaled our scores the Rose PT Team went over the tests and what muscle groups they assessed.  They also made themselves available for questions. 

The exercises I scored “1” in were core related movements – the Hurdle Step and the Trunk Stability Pushup.  I was not surprised – given how sore my core was during the marathon and during gym training sessions.  The PT explained to me while I had good leg stability during the Hurdle Step, when I attempted to lift my leg over the wooden dowel I would swing by leg to the side to compensate for my core. 

This week we should be receiving a list of exercises to help strengthen our weaknesses.  I know I will be adding more core exercises to my weekly routine as well as additional exercises to strengthen my “2” scores. It would be interesting to see how I perform in these movements a year from now.

If you are in the DC area I will keep an eye out for any future FMS events. For those not in the area, perhaps your local running group may host an FMS.  Thank you DC Capital Striders and Rose Group Physical Therapy for a fun and informative night. 

Disclosure: I attended the FMS as part of a community event hosted by DC Capital Striders. All thoughts and opinions on the blog are my own.

Have you ever had a Functional Movement Screening?

Do you have a favorite core exercise to share?

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