Introducing: CFCC’s Assessment System!

The long-awaited month of June has officially arrived and for CFCC that means the introduction of our brand spanking new assessment system!  The name of this system of assessment is The Functional Movement Screen. You can read all about the history, purpose, and intent behind the “FMS” here.  That said, I also wanted to have the opportunity to talk to you all about how CFCC will be translating the FMS for our needs and specific population.

FMS

WHAT IS THE FMS? 

1. The Functional Movement Screen is a baseline. Imagine that you are going to the doctor but instead of measuring your bodyweight, your blood pressure, and taking your cholesterol levels, your doctor just asks you how you have been feeling lately. You can imagine that “how you’re feeling” is not a specific enough rubric for measuring your overall wellness. In our realm of wellness, just because you feel ok to move around like an athlete doesn’t mean that you’re 100% capable of doing so in a way that’s healthy for you. Just as there is a solid understanding of when too much variance from the norm in your heart rate is too much, there’s also a way to determine whether your hamstring flexibility, single leg stability, or squat is too varied from the norm. The Functional Movement Screen is a way to formulate a solid measure of your abilities as an athlete PRIOR to entry into activity.

2. The Functional Movement Screen is not JUST a baseline for new athletes.  Let’s say that you step off a curb one fateful evening and sprain your ankle. Sadly, this injury has left you inactive through your right ankle for 5 months. When you return to CrossFit, a Coach says to you in a squatting class that you seem to be shifting a lot to the left side as you squat. You tell the Coach that this is probably because of your ankle injury. In telling the Coach this, you may be right, but I would also ask you to consider why you sprained that ankle in the first place; did you step off the curb and land in an unstable position because that side has always been weak? Or, was this a fluke accident that has now created a deficit in your right side? If we had screened you prior to activity before your injury and then again AFTER your injury, we would be able to know. As it stands, your goal as an athlete in spite of any injury or imbalance you may have had in the past is to bring your FMS score up as far as you can year to year. Doing so has been correlated with less chance of injury and longevity in many sports.

3. The Functional Movement Screen is a way to help our staff define our scope of practice.  One of the first and most important things I had to learn as a Coach is when a problem is simply NOT within my ability to solve. The FMS is a GREAT tool for defining when we must pass on the responsibility of creating pain-free movement to a more specifically qualified medical professional. You will see this occur in your tests if you present with pain while completing any of them. I would encourage you all not to be afraid of a diagnosis like this!  Pain does not have to be a normal part of your athletic life and it ABSOLUTELY shouldn’t be!

4. The Functional Movement Screen is a way to make your performance BETTER for LONGER. The FMS has been used by many professional sports organizations one of which is the NFL. In performing the FMS on NFL players prior to training seasons and specifying each player’s warm-up for the single WEAKEST point of their test, re-testing proved higher across the board in ALL areas of the test. What does that mean for you? If your rotary stability test is the worst out of all your tests, and you follow along with the warm-up guidelines that will be posted, you may improve ALL of your other tests simply by working on one movement pattern. This saves you time, the trouble of potential injury, and allows you to perform better!

HOW DOES THE TEST WORK?

You’ll be screen on elements of mobility, stability, and coordination. The entire test is unloaded. You’ll also be screened, as mentioned above, for any pain you may have in any position. The scoring system for the FMS is based on a few simple rules:

1. After you’ve been taught the test, you will have only three chances to try to score well on each test. So, if we’re testing your deep squat, you’ll only get three tries at giving us the best version of the squat you’ve got.

2. You will be scored based on a 0-3 point system in which you will receive a 0 if you have pain during a movement, a 1 if you are unable to perform a movement under the stipulations given, a 2 if you are able to perform the movement but less than perfectly, and a 3 if you are beyond a shadow of a doubt performing the movement perfectly. As you might imagine, few people score all 3s!

3. If you do present with any asymmetries, your score for those asymmetries side-to-side is always the LOWEST score. Your asymmetry is noted, and in many cases it would be far better to score a 2 on your left, and a 2 on your right than it would be to score a 2 on your left and a 3 on your right.

4. If you present with any pain during any movements, your score for those particular tests will become a 0 and it will be recommended that you see a medical professional about resolving the cause of the pain.

Generally, scoring 2s for all tests will allow you to freedom to train within the correlated movement patterns.

WHAT DOES PREHAB HAVE TO DO WITH THIS? 

Prehab is a new class that I have created to allow all of you to spend some time with FMS related tests and mobilizations in a setting that is restorative in nature and informative in format. You can think of this class as a blend of Restorative Yoga, Mobility WOD, and working on specific movement patterns that I have found are weakest in many of the members of Liberty Barbell Club who I have been testing screening out on for past few weeks. Any level of athlete is fine to attend, and nothing is needed to attend except yourself!  You can absolutely double on classes before or after this one and you can also attend if you are sore or not. These classes will be in place for the summer on Saturday mornings.

WHEN WILL FMS HAPPEN? 

You can sign up at the Front Desk for one of the time slots here.  Those times are slated to begin NEXT MONDAY. You can expect the whole screen to take about 20 minutes. You will be emailed directly after completion of the screen.

Two times of the year we will be taking a whole month to offer times where you can come get the screen as part of your membership. We will earnestly attempt to get ALL of you in here, but some of the onus is on you to actually sign up and show up for a time slot. The next time we will test will be in the winter.

If you have any other questions about the Functional Movement Screen or the role that it will play in your training, please don’t hesitate to contact me at erin@crossfitcc.com!

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