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Optimizing Movement: What is the FMS?

Have you been trying to improve your sport? You may be trying all of the usual things such as foam rolling, drinking more water, but have you ever wondered how well your muscles work together? At Advantage Physical Therapy, we can perform a Functional Movement Screen (FMS) on you to see how several different movements work together to identify asymmetries that may hinder training.


What is a Functional Movement Screen (FMS)

A Functional Movement Screen is a tool of looking at key movements to see if there are asymmetries as well as weaknesses in function and motion. By identify these weaknesses and imbalances It can determine the injury risk. Seven movement-based tests are performed and scored from three to zero. If a person scores a total of 14 or less, then the individual s considered at risk for injury and should probably receive treatment from a physical therapist.

What are the benefits to a Functional Movement Screen

Unfortunately, most athlete only start physical therapy after an injury occurs and not to learn prehab exercises to keep them in shape and decrease their risk of injury. This will help an important part of their performance that goes beyond just stretching or nutrition. In addition, if a person has been injured, this can identify if a person is ready to return to sport with a lower risk of re-injury.

What movements will be screened

The Hurdle Step

This will show stability in the hips, knees, and ankles as well as mobility

The Deep Squat

Measures body control of the knee, ankle, and hip stability. In addition it screens the upper body’s stability such as the shoulder, spine, pelvis, and core

The In-line Lunge

Measures the mobility and stability in the hip, foot, ankle, and knee as well as spine stability

Rotary Stability

This looks at the stability in the core, shoulder, and pelvis

Shoulder Stability

This measures the range of motion in the shoulder blades and how the upper and middle back function together

Trunk Stability Pushup

This measures upper body strength and flexibility, as well as core strength and stability

Active Straight Leg Raise

Information from this can tell you how tight your hamstrings are as well as neural tension.


How can Advantage Help?

If you are in the Falls Church, Arlington, or Annandale region of Virginia, swing by Advantage Physical Therapy. Here at Advantage Physical Therapy, we offer FMS testing in conjunction with physical therapy or in one-on-one training sessions with our clinic’s personal trainer, James L. Higgins, CSCS, FCS, FMS-1. For local athletes, James is one of only four individuals certified in the Vienna, Falls Church, and Fairfax area.

Call us at (703) 942-8824 for more information if you are interested!


For more information, CLICK HERE for a video that can explain FMS further!















Tags: FMS, Functional Movement Screen, Arlington, Falls Church, mobility, stability, strengthening, athlete, injury prevention
Alana Hamilton Alana Hamilton is a physical therapist at Advantage Physical Therapy in Falls Church, Virginia. She is a proud Hokie from Virginia Tech with a major in Biology and a minor in psychology and sociology. Following graduation, she immediately got her doctorate in Physical Therapy from Radford University. She is an avid fan of Pilates, running, and hiking. On the weekends, she can be found hanging out with her family and baby as well as doing Spartan races with her old physical therapy classmates and friends. She is a big believer that during rehabilitation, "Motion is the Lotion" and that staying active is key to remaining healthy.

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