Move Well, Then Often—The Proof is in the Movement

In the words of Gray Cook, founder of Functional Movement Systems (FMS), “First move well, then move often.” At Allied Health and Chiropractic, we truly believe in Cook’s words.

This summer, Dr. Eric Wolk screened high school athletes from around the country at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Dr. Wolk screened over 100 athletes over the course of the day, working with all ages at the high school level. The screening was done through FMS with both the traditional screening as well as the Y-balance movement assessment. 

The screen works in assessing mobility issues first, because mobility is not possible without adequate stability. Asymmetries take priority as they create the highest risk of injury.

The screen looks at these movements within three categories:

  1. Mobility

  2. Motor control

  3. Functional patterning

Lucky for the athletes, one of Dr. Wolk’s specialties is FMS.

The goal of the screening? To improve performance by identifying improper movements due to asymmetrical compensations, giving the athlete specific areas to work on and correct before the season begins. 

Below is a detailed list of each movement and their assessments:

  1. Mobility
    1. Active Straight-Leg Raise
      1. Active mobility of the flexed hip
      2. Core stability 
      3. Hip extension of alternate hip
    2. Shoulder Mobility
      1. Looks to the natural rhythm of the scapular-thoracic, thoracic spine and rib cage during external rotation, flexion, and abduction of one extremity while looking at internal rotation, extension and adduction in the other.
  2. Motor Control
    1. Rotary stability
      1. Observes multi-plane pelvis, core and shoulder girdle stability during a combined upper and lower extremity movement
    2. Trunk Stability Push-up
      1. Observes the reflex core activation in order to initiate movement with the upper extremities without spine or hip movement
  3. Functional Patterning
    1. Inline lunge
      1. A pattern that assesses movement involved in decelerating movements as well as directional changes in sport, exercise or activity. 
      2. Narrow stances requires stability and dynamic control of the pelvis and core 
      3. Also challenges hip, knee ankle and foot mobility and stability
      4. Challenges the flexibility of multi-articular muscles such as Latissimus Dorsi and rectus femoris (quad)
    2. Hurdle step
      1. Challenges step and stride mechanics
      2. Testing stability and control in a single stance
    3. Deep squat
      1. Test bilateral, symmetrical, functional mobility and stability of the hips, knees and ankles
      2. Test bilateral, symmetrical, functional mobility and stability of the shoulders, scapular region and thoracic spine
      3. Test pelvis and core stability and motor control

At the end of a full day of screening Dr. Wolk came to an interesting conclusion. The older athletes had better screenings—but not due to lack of asymmetries. They demonstrated an ability to hide their asymmetries and better compensate for them. 

The bottom line: FMS screening should be utilized in the early stages of an athlete’s career to avoid the development of habitual compensations.

Interested in learning more about FMS? Contact Allied Health and Chiropractic today to eliminate asymmetries and start moving well.