Posted February 15, 2011
Many of the over simplifications have been addressed in the book. Unfortunately people talk more than they read and I can tell it is beginning to irritate you.
OK, so the title is a bit tongue-in-cheek. However, if you are a regular Strengthcoach.com reader you might be tempted to answer yes. It seems every thread now begins with the statement “have you done the FMS on them”. Every answer parrots the same mantra. If you attack the weak pattern, the athlete or client will be miraculously cured.
The weak pattern will drive performance problems, but performance problems can also be due to poor performance. That’s why I suggest that both be tested.
To be honest, I think doing the FMS should be step one for every client that complains of pain. In fact, if you have the time it should be step one for every client, period.
I actually think the SFMA will get the painful problem managed more efficiently and effectively than the FMS. I advise the people with pain to skip the FMS.
I am a huge fan of the FMS, of Gray Cook and of Lee Burton (the co-creator). However as Alwyn Cosgrove likes to say first we underreact, then we overreact. As one member said yesterday “has the pendulum possibly swung too far?”. The FMS is a screen. It is a way to begin to gather information about an athlete or a client relative to the way they move. For me it is step one when an athlete or client complains of pain. What it is not is a heat-seeking missile that will expose a weak pattern and present a miracle cure.
I just read a thread that intimated that FMS correctives will cure shin splints. That is what prompted me to write this article. Yes, the shin splints could be the result of a biomechanical fault that originates in the hips or the core but it is overuse that causes shin splints. In past years when I ran too much my shins hurt. If I followed a more progressive program they did not. Every overuse injury is not a movement fault.
Totally agreed — every overuse injury is not a movement fault — but don’t stop there — prove it! If the FMS shows serious dysfunction then you cannot rule out a movement problem. On the other hand if the FMS is clear or at least 2s on everything with no asymmetries then you have identified a performance problem, programming overload, or inappropriate activity choice.
Some people just aren’t the right body type for distance running. No amount of corrective work is going to make an offensive lineman into a distance runner. If you fix his Active Straight Leg Raise and then send him out for a 5 miler he will probably still have shin or low back issues.
This may be the way some misguided people use our model — but I’ve never implied anything like this — ever!
It is the old hammer analogy. My hand hurts when I hit it with the hammer. The Dr’s advice, hit the nail.
I love the fact that everyone has embraced the FMS and is beginning to see the value of screening, evaluating or assessing but please let’s not overstate it’s value so that people begin to discount it. The Functional Movement Screen is step one in the process. Step two is up to you. Step two does not have to be “refer them to an SFMA therapist”.
I’ve never said to send the FMS client or athlete with pain to a medical professional trained in the SFMA. It’s just nice when someone speaks the same language. All I’ve ever said is — don’t go it alone — get some help and limit your liability and protect your client / athlete in the most responsible way possible.
There are thousands and thousands of excellent therapists who have no idea how to perform the FMS who will do an excellent job of getting someone better.
Agreed! No argument from me!
There are numerous models for therapy and rehab. Gray’s model best fits the Sahrmann model of rehab through movement. As strength coaches, athletic trainers and physical therapists, this model fits extremely well for us as it works within the confines of our abilities. However, I have seen the best results when the skills of manual therapy are combined with the model of rehab through movement. In my experience the “weak pattern” is very often a result of a soft tissue or joint dysfunction that simply will not get better by attacking the weak pattern. Often a qualified physical therapist must aggressively attack joint function or tissue quality.
Our fascination with the FMS reminds me of the old internet fascination with ART. Every internet thread started with “have you found an ART provider yet”. We need to remember that all methods are tools in a toolbox. Sometimes the best tool is the computer or the phone. Much like the TV show Who Wants to be a Millionaire, the best thing you can do is phone a friend to get the right answer.
Please be careful not to oversimplify complex processes. There are no right answers and as the old saying goes, there are many ways to skin a cat. If someone asks you “how do I skin a cat”. You are not required to answer “have you performed the FMS on the cat yet”.
Sorry the FMS — misunderstandings take time out of the other stuff you would like to do. Unfortunately we are both in education and it is our responsibility to answer the stuff directed at us. I hope that the people who have read my new book are not the ones misapplying the model. As a matter of fact every response I’ve provided is in the book.
I’ve also attached all the principles from chapter 15 in the book. All I really care about is the principles — the FMS and SFMA are just the methods I use to stay as close as possible to the principles. I also provided extra commentary in blue. Enjoy
Thanks for the heads-up!
One last thing brother — I think a quick way to clarify whether an FMS question is worth answering is to ask the individual who posted it if they have read the Movement Book. If they have not there is a good chance the answer is readily available. If someone posted about Shirley’s work you might first question if they had studied her work as much as you have.
PS- If you have the time the FMS should still be step one for every client, period. But remember it is a way to begin to gather information about an athlete or a client relative to the way they move. “
Principle # 1
We should separate painful movement patterns from dysfunctional movement patterns whenever possible to create clarity and perspective.
*What I want you to know — I feel the starting point is to separate pain and dysfunction and I have opinions about what to do next. I guess I’m not satisfied with the current systems I see in place. I’m not offended when people criticize the screen — I’m just disappointed when they don’t have a viable solution to put in it’s place.
Principle # 2
The starting point for movement learning is a reproducible movement baseline.
*What I want you to know — We set far more performance baselines than movement baselines. When we do set movement baselines they are often not standardized. Without standardization it is nearly impossible to develop a statistical injury prediction model.
Principle # 3
Biomechanical and physiological evaluation does not provide a complete risk screening or diagnostic assessment tool for comprehensive understanding of movement-pattern behaviors.
*What I want you to know — This does not imply that we stop looking at biomechanics and physiological factors. It just means that we need to add a whole movement profile into the equation. The # 1 risk factor for a future injury is a previous injury… Even if you have a good PT, even if you have a good trainer, even if you have a good coach… We don’t have bad pros we suffer from the lack of a manageable system.
Principle # 4
Movement learning and relearning has hierarchies’ fundamental to the development of perception and behavior.
*What I want you to know — A clear understanding of movement pattern capability reduces the trial and error we often experience when trying to gauge a client or athletes movement learning capabilities. It also offers a level of risk management that is supported by research.
Principle # 5
Corrective exercise should not be a rehearsal of outputs. Instead, it should represent challenging opportunities to manage mistakes on a functional level near the edge of ability.
*What I want you to know — There is more to corrective exercise than just doing exercises correctly.
Principle # 6
Perception drives movement behavior and movement behavior modulates perception.
*What I want you to know — When movement pattern dysfunction is identified the client or athlete is often unable to correct the problem with verbal instruction or isolation exercise.
Principle # 7
We should not put fitness on movement dysfunction.
*What I want you to know — Everyone seems to agree with this but no one seems to have a systematic solution. Basically every trainer I know says they have enough experience not to do this but no one has a reproducible system. Everyone just vouches for himself or herself. My question is — If everyone is doing so well why do we still have low back pain, non-contact athletic injuries and training related injuries.
Principle # 8
We must develop performance and skill considering each tier in the natural progression of movement development and specialization.
*What I want you to know — The FMS is not the only thing — but I feel it is the first thing. Frequency, intensity, volume, performance level, and all the other factors regarding appropriate activity and conditioning must still be considered. It is entirely possible to have a good FMS and still get shin splints from running. This scenario suggests that movement capability is present but performance considerations were not managed.
Principle # 9
Our corrective exercise dosage recipe suggests we work close to the baseline, at the edge of ability, with a clear goal. This should produce a rich sensory experience filled with manageable mistakes.
*What I want you to know — It is refreshing to explore exercises that require increased sensory awareness. I used to think 3 sets of 10 reps would fix stuff and then I started to measure things to see exactly what I had changed — not much.
Principle # 10
The routine practice of self-limiting exercises can maintain the quality of our movement perceptions and behaviors, and preserve our unique adaptability that modern conveniences erode.
*What I want you to know — Motor learning seems to progress at an accelerated rate with exercises that make us work and also pay attention. Self-limiting exercises require a certain level of technical skill before you could even come close to a volume that would place unnecessary risk. My lists of self-limiting exercises are simply suggestions to force precision with higher levels of sensory input.
If there is one thing I have come to accept in six years of practice, it’s the more I learn the less (I feel) I know. I believe this is what drives so many of us in the fitness and rehabilitation profession. We are in constant search of the latest and greatest information to improve upon ourselves and ultimately create better athletes, clients, and patients. Reflecting on 2011 made me realize how much material was absorbed this past year. Had I possessed this information fresh out of chiropractic school, there would have been far less headaches and days of frustration. However, learning the hard way often makes us more appreciative of how far we have come. Without further adieu, my list of the top six things I’ve learned over the last six years.
1. It’s not just about you
Sure it’s always nice to think an athlete is back on the field and feeling better than ever because of what “you” did. The fact of the matter is, it’s a team effort. We can’t be experts in every field and with an overwhelming number of therapies, specialists, and philosophies, it’s imperative to create a “team” of like-minded specialists. Our “team” at Fitness Quest 10 consists of chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, nutrition, strength and conditioning, yoga, and Pilates. More often than not one of our athletes will at some point encounter all of us in their quest for athletic perfection. My previous article, “Who’s on your Team“,discusses the importance of surrounding yourself with a group of specialists that communicate well and provide a comprehensive approach to rehabilitation, injury prevention, and athletic performance.
2. Get it right from the start
Top of the line equipment and trendy treatment techniques can make any clinician/therapist feel invincible to any injury that walks through the door. Without proper assessment and a correct working diagnosis, it’s easy to chase pain and treat the symptoms with those cool toys. While chiropractic school provided the basis for standard examination, it’s through courses, seminars, books, and colleagues outside of the chiropractic profession, that I’ve come to understand biomechanics and motor patterning. Understanding movement and analyzing dysfunctional patterns will direct you to the cause of the injury. Bottom line….don’t chase pain. Some of the most influential to my practice include Gray Cook, Dr. Stewart McGill, Shirley Sarmon, Sue Falsone, Greg Rose, Charlie Weingroff, Craig Liebenson, and Mike Reinold.
3. Don’t get caught up in the “black and white” of biomechanics. The nervous system is a bigger beast and creates many shades of gray when treating patients.
Only considering biomechanics when assessing injuries or faulty movement patterns will often leave you short of solving the problem. The nervous system is a far bigger beast to comprehend when motor control issues and compensatory patterns exist. Is it the pain that drives the faulty pattern or the faulty pattern that drives the pain? Studies have shown pain, regardless of its origin, alters motor control.
This same concept applies to the rehabilitation of our stabilizers. Just six years ago in school we learned to “strengthen” weak stabilizers (ie. core and rotator cuff). Current research, however, points to timing as the key factor. Without the nervous system activating our stabilizers first, it doesn’t matter how “strong” we make these muscles. Put down the tubing for your IR/ER shoulder exercises and focus your attention towards patterns that consider timing. Understanding biomechanics is the first step in looking at function, but improving the pattern only comes with careful consideration of the nervous system.
4. Look beyond static posture and alignment
Chiropractic school emphasized posture and alignment with the majority of the assessment occurring in the standing or lying position. While this continues to be a part of my examination, evaluating movement is just as important. The majority of musculoskeletal injuries occur as a result of poor movement quality. For the general population the overall decline in activity, I believe, translates to poor movement competency. As such, the weekend warriors and/or gym goers often present with mechanical neck and lower back pain. Posture and alignment are a start to understanding the problem, but looking at fundamental movement patterns such as gait, running mechanics, and throwing, are essential when working with any patient or athlete.
5. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water
The health and fitness industry often discount various techniques, exercises, and philosophies if evidence is inconclusive or unfavorable. While I’m a firm believer in testing our hypothesis and seeking out the best information, it’s the combination of clinical experience and evidence based research that should be the driving force behind our programs/treatments. The majority of the assessment, treatment, and training techniques I utilize are evidence led. Notice I didn’t say evidence based. Performing and executing flawless clinical studies and trials is virtually impossible. Brett Contreras wrote an article demonstrating that one could find a study to prove or disprove just about anything. Whether a study supports or refutes the testing hypothesis, taking into account your clinical experience is sometimes more important. Many researchers are limited to working in a lab without stepping foot in a clinic/training facility. As a clinician or strength coach working in the trenches, we see first hand what is effective and what is not. Just because the Journal of whatever discounts your school of thought doesn’t mean you toss the technique or philosophy aside. While research fuels the growth and science of the health and fitness community, always consider your experience and results within your setting. Proving efficacy is often evident in your success. Bottom line…do what works.
6. Without written goals, it is difficult to track your progress and map out where you are headed
It’s that time of year again, time for New Years resolutions and planning for the upcoming year. We all talk about it, but it often becomes a distant memory by mid February. This past year I took the time to write out several goals, both the professional and personal. Creating a list and placing it a high traffic area my house, kept me on track for the year. Let this be the driving force for self-improvement in the important areas of your life. For me, I made it a point to spend at least 10% of my income on continuing education (thank you Diane Vives for the recommendation). Looking back at the number of seminars, courses, classes, workshops, and books I have learned from this past year, has kept me motivated and passionate about my work. Most important, the attention to both personal and professional goals will help maintain the balance between the two and your focus on the things that matter most.
Let this be the most enlightening and productive year you’ve had yet.
About Dr. Reiner
Dr. Jennifer Reiner is the chiropractor for Water and Sports Physical Therapy and Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, California. She obtained a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Exercise Science from the University of Florida and went on to pursue a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic West. As a member of the Palmer West Sports Council, Dr. Reiner focused her studies on sports injuries and rehabilitation. She is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
She spent five years as the official chiropractor for the University of California San Diego, providing care to a variety of sports including swimming, soccer, volleyball, track and field, tennis, and basketball. Dr. Reiner is certified in Graston Technique as well as Active Release Technique (ART). She also holds certifications in FMS (Functional Movement Screen), SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment), TRX suspension training, and K-laser therapy. Follow her on Twitter –@drjreiner.
Optimal recovery means all body systems have returned to the state they were in
before exercise. The basic formula promoted by Athletes’ Performance is this: Work
+ Rest = Success. Recovery is a limiting factor. The better an athlete can recover,
the sooner and better he or she can train. The process of recovery (regeneration)
gets less attention than it should. Every athlete should have a systematic plan that
includes recovery activities on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. The
Gatorade Sports Science Exchange Roundtable offers recovery tips, which are laid
out below. Sports Performance Journal comments follow some of the Exchange
After exhaustive exercise, don’t stop and rest immediately. You can speed up the
removal of lactic acid from your muscles by continuing to exercise at a low intensity
for 10-20 minutes. Cooling down can help reduce the feeling of stiffness that often
occurs after a workout and is especially important if your next training session or
event is scheduled a few hours later.
Overly aggressive stretching before exercise puts you at risk for damaging the very
tissues you are trying to protect. Stretching after exercise will minimize muscle
soreness and may even help prevent future soft tissue injuries. SPJ Note: Before
activity, more active-type stretching routines are recommended. After exercise, the
emphasis should be on passive or static stretching.
The muscles are primed for quick restoration of their carbohydrate fuel reserves
(glycogen) immediately after exercise, so don’t wait too long to start eating foods
and drinking beverages rich in carbohydrate. Pretzels, fruits, energy bars, and
sports drinks all contain large amounts of carbohydrate.
Some proteins are broken down during recovery after exercise. For a faster buildup
of muscle proteins during recovery, include a small amount of protein in the foods
you eat. Milk, cheese, eggs, nutrition shakes, sandwiches, and energy bars provide
carbohydrate and protein. SPJ Note: Look for easily digestible protein sources (such
as the ones listed above) following strenuous exercise. Avoid saturated fats.
Replacing lost ﬂuid is crucial. Top off your supply of ﬂuids by drinking before
exercise, continue to hydrate every 15 or 20 minutes during a workout, and replace
any body weight lost during exercise by drinking while you recover.
Salt Your body loses water and minerals – mostly sodium chloride, some potassium -
when you sweat. Drinking water alone during exercise and recovery will make it
difﬁcult to replace body ﬂuids rapidly because much of it will pass through the
kidneys to become urine. Replace the salt along with the water to counteract
dehydration. If you have to compete again within a few hours, consider sports
drinks that contain water, sodium chloride, Add extra salt to foods at mealtime if
you are susceptible to cramps. SPJ Note: Consider using condiments, sports drinks,
and ﬁtness waters instead of salt tablets.
Inﬂammation and swelling are possibilities following strenuous exercise. To
minimize the effects, consider cold packs around joint areas, alternating cold and
hot whirlpool baths, and small doses of anti-inﬂammatory substances like aspirin or
ibuprofen. (There is some disagreement on the issue of whirlpool heat baths so
soon after exercise.) Light massage feels good, but anything more aggressive may
further damage tissues. SPJ Note: Minimize foot contact with the ground. Engage in
light activities that increase blood ﬂow while not taxing the nervous system.
Swimming, cycling, walking, and light jogs are alternatives, but minimize foot
contact with the ground.
There is plenty of evidence to show that lack of sleep can have an adverse affect
on training and competition. You might get by for a day or two with inadequate
sleep, but it will catch up with up sooner or later. If you haven’t monitored your
sleep habits already, determine how much sleep you need each night to ensure full
recovery. It’s not eight hours for everyone – could be less, could be more. Then try
to establish a routine that will allow you get what you need to perform well
Great article from Anthony Lomando – Athletes’ Performance from Strengthcoach.com:
Before we discuss some simple strategies to help reduce the risk of injury, it’s important to understand why soccer players are at a greater risk for suffering non-contact knee injuries in their dominant kicking leg. For this we must examine the biomechanics of the kick and how this repetitive motion can lead to altered muscle performance and result in movement impairments at the hip. These subsequent movement impairments lead to functional limitations at the joint and eventually a soccer player’s vulnerability to non-contact lower quarter injuries.
In a right-footed soccer player’s kicking phase, the main muscle actions that take place at the hip of the swing leg are internal rotation and hip flexion. Specifically, the muscles responsible are the tensor fascia lata, rectus femoris, psoas, iliacus, sartorius and adductor group. Dominance of the internal rotator and adductor groups during the many years of performing the kicking phase results in the opposing muscle groups, specifically the external rotator and abductor groups, exhibiting poor muscle functioning. As a result of this poor muscle activation in the external rotator and abductor groups, a lack of femoral control may be experienced. Furthermore, if our athletes can’t control their femurs we will more than likely see poor movement control up the kinetic chain, revealing a lack of pelvic control. So how do poor femoral/ pelvic control and functional limitations in the dominant hip joint put a soccer player at risk for non-contact knee injuries?
Non-contact knee injuries can occur for many reasons but in the simplest of explanations, when an athlete changes direction or moves laterally he must be able to control the pelvis and femur to efficiently and effectively stabilize the knee during deceleration. Two of the main muscle groups responsible for stability of the pelvis and femur are the abdominals and gluteals. If the typical soccer player has altered muscle performance in these groups during deceleration, the ability to stabilize the knee through femoral and pelvic control may lead to devastating outcomes.
It is very disheartening to see an athlete go down with this type of non-contact injury. An elite athlete should be able to perform at the highest level without fear of these avoidable and unfortunate outcomes. It is our job as strength coaches to identify these potential problems and do everything in our power to find solutions to these challenges.
Seeing asymmetries in femoral and pelvic control between the dominant vs. non-dominant leg are quite easy to see in novice to elite level soccer players. If we place our players on their dominant kicking leg and ask them to perform a single leg squat, we will often see the knee adduct and internally rotate to some degree. If we take a look at any common agility performance test, we will often see better cutting ability on the non-dominant kicking side (plant leg) vs. the dominant kicking side (swing leg).
If we know that our athlete has poor femoral and pelvic control as a result of reduced abdominal and gluteal functioning, we can obviously target these muscle groups in hopes of restoring proper muscle functioning and help to reduce the risk of suffering a non-contact knee injury.
I am happy to announce the collaboration of Reno High Baseball and PerformancEDU. It is great to give back to the program which has given so much to me during my tenure here in high school. Coach Pete Savage (Head Baseball Coach) and I have implemented off-season and in-season programming based off of movement quality. We started the fall off by having each athlete go through a Functional Movement Screen. Here is a little background on the Functional Movement Screen:
Why do we want to screen?
- Identify the ability to move more efficiently
- Identify injury risk
- Helps us determine injury prone areas and target them with apporpriate solutions
What are the goals from the screen?
- Enhance Performance
- Injury Prevention
What does the FMS cover?
- Deep Squat
- Hurdle Step
- In Line Lunge
- Shoulder Mobility
- Active Straight Leg
- Trunk Stability Push Up
- Rotational Stability
What does the FMS tell us?
- If there are any asymmetries during the movement
- If there is any pain throughout the movement
- Breaking down movement quality
How do you score the FMS?
- 0-performs movement with pain
- 1-performs movement with loss of balance during
- 2- performs movement pattern with compensation
- 3-performs movement pattern
How do you implement the FMS scoring into programming?
- 0-Soft tissue work
- 1-Mobility while restoring symmetry
- 2-Stability while implementing movement
- 3-Full movement pattern while implementing elasticity
After screening all the athletes, we pick the top 3 priorities for the movement screen and then we are ready to start FMS Solutions. FMS Solutions will be placed into the athletes movement preparation, skill, strength and recovery sessions during the fall, winter and in-season sessions.
PerformancEDU is very excited to educate, motivate and Create GREATNESS with the Reno Huskies.
Marc Digesti USAW
Founder of PerformancEDU
I came across a testimonial I wrote for TRX a while back I would like to share:
While with the US Disabled Ski team, I had great pleasure in being taught from one of the best in skiing, Kurt Smitz. Kurt and I spent long hours discussing what type of equipment would work best for the amount of traveling the team would be doing, but most importantly how we could incorporate ski specific movements into a program with limited space domestically and internationally.
Alpine skiing emphasizes core movements, which are critical in the adjustment and maintenance of the skiers center of mass. As such a dynamic sport, the movements of skiing involve vertical, lateral and rotational planes of movement. The TRX suspension trainer allows the athletes to incorporate both isolation of a movement, multiple applications of a movement, while using ones own body weight to balance in an efficient training model. Training all of these movements during a certain program, will allow the athlete to visualize themselves being in a race condition. The TRX is an invaluable resource in the world of Alpine Skiing.
Marc Digesti USAW
Founder of PerformancEDU
Movement compensations can lead to repetitive strain to the musculoskeletal system resulting in chronic injury. Inury potential may be decreased when the training session is based around identifying and correcting common movement dysfunctions. When having movement compensations, they are usually in a result of injury, pain, muscled stiffness and/or muscle weakness.
Here are some terms we see during the Functional Movement Screen:
- Compensation-Movement occurring without regard to normal mechanics due to injury, tightness and poor motor control.
- Symmetry (symmetrical)-Equal in appearance or movement between sides.
- Asymmetry-Unequal in appearance or movement between sides.
The picture of Jessi Stensland is a perfect example of an athlete being posturally sound, totally symentrical and fluid while placing a lot of stress on her body.
Great WORK Jess!
Marc Digesti USAW
Founder of PerformancEDU
Whether it be the youth, high school, collegiate, professional or recreational athlete, most individuals that devote two to four times per week to training undoubtedly want to lower their chances of sporting injury. Injuries negatively affect individual goals due to decreased performance, strength and fitness. The net result is increased recovery time, which can diminish the amount of total time an athlete can spend training for and competing in athletic activities. This not only takes a psychological toll on an athlete; it can lead to long-term health problems that affect the way they live out their daily life for years to come.
Sport scientists suggest that common athletic injuries could be reduced by 25% if the athlete would take the appropriate measures to prevent them from ever occurring. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Nationally, over 775,000 children under the age of 15 are treated in hospital emergency departments for sports related injuries each year
- About 80 percent of these injuries are from football, basketball, baseball, or soccer.
- Most sports related injuries in children- about two-thirds- are sprains and strains. Only 5% of sports injuries in children involve broken bones.
As an athlete yourself or the parent of an athlete, now comes the important question: “How do I best go about limiting the chance of injury?”
The most important tool each and every training session can provide an athlete is education. Education is a powerful tool, but not every athlete can be educated in the same manner. Evaluating an athlete’s strengths and weaknesses during sport-specific movements is essential to teaching proper mechanics because proper mechanics (1) enables proper motor development for future drills and movements and (2) decreases injury through overuse.
Strength in 3 Dimensions
Through my years of experience working with and training athletes, I have learned how to evaluate the body in a 3-dimensional format. Doing so allows me to assess the body from the shoulders, core and hips. This is a center point from which we move and if these three areas are not correctly aligned, then it impedes an athlete’s ability to transfer energy during a cut on the field or going for a rebound on the court. Moreover, and just as important, an athlete lacking strength in these areas increases his or her chances of injury in the lower back, knee, hip, shoulder, and neck.
Shoulder stability is very important not just for athletes competing in throwing activities, but for everyone competing in life. The shoulder is made up of the humerous, scapula and clavicle, which collectively is referred to as the “shoulder girdle.” Every athlete comes into an assessment with different imbalances, but there are a high percentage of athletes and general population clients that tend to be weak in the upper back. These individuals tend to have their chest and shoulders rolled and “slumped” forward. This causes their rotator cuff region to weaken and increases the risk of injury in the future. By learning how to bring their shoulders back and down, athletes can strengthen their upper back for injury prevention and proper posture.
Core stability is a major factor in the 3-Dimensional strength concept. The core consists of the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques, latisimus dorsi, erector spinae, and many smaller muscles that stabilize our bodies and keep our posture erect. A weak core often contributes to back pain, which could lead to chronic back problems.
Hips can be a major cause of injury due to tightness and the lack of stability throughout the hip region. The cause of many hip injuries is our body’s inability to recruit the proper muscles from the pelvic region to support the movement placed upon the hips.
Prehabilitation (“prehab”) is an area we do not stress enough of in sports. Unfortunatly, many athlete know all too well about post-injury and post-operation rehabilitation. However, “prehab” emphasizes strengthening the smaller, supporting muscle groups of the larger muscle groups before an injury may occur. Prehab exercises strengthen the shoulders, core and hips. Strengthening these areas will not just prevent injury and prolong your season, but it will improve posture, which will allow you to move more efficiently in your sport.
During time away from training, athletes are usually in the classroom or behind the computer typing papers. During this activity, the athlete places great stress upon the lower back due to flexing of the lower back (hunching over). This causes the hips to become static and less mobile. Prehab exercises work both the core and the hips to allow each of them to become more stable and mobile resulting in proper pelvis alignment. In a sound Prehab regimen, you will also strengthen the supporting muscles in your upper back. This approach will improve your posture and allow the shoulder joint to move freely as it was made to do.
According to Mark Verstegen’s Core Performance, the preemptive protection of your shoulders, lower back, and hips ultimately improves your life: About 65 percent of injuries, both athletic and lifestyle related, come from the repetitive use of joints that are rendered dysfunctional by muscular imbalance (i.e. overuse).
By educating one’s self, training the body in all 3 dimensions, and incorporating Prehab into daily training sessions, an individual can deter injury and stay healthy and consistent day in and day out. But most importantly, following this path will place an individual in a position to excel and surpass the competition.
Marc Digesti USAW
Founder of PerformancEDU
I received some great reaction to my last blog on the Functional Movement Screen which covered:
- What are the reasons for screening?
- What are the goals of the screen?
- What does the screen cover?
- What does the screen tell us?
- How is the screen scored?
- How do you implement the FMS scoring into programming?
Some were confused on how movements were programmed based off of the FMS. Unfortunately, there is one component which has to be covered before moving on to the FMS solutions, determining FMS Priorities. There are two types of FMS Priorites:
Scoring Hierarchy: to list the FMS movement patterns from highest to lowest priority:
- 1,3 asymm
- 1,2 asymm
- 1 on isolateral test
- 1 on bilateral (squat or pushup)
- 2,3 asymm
- 2 on isolateral test
- 2 on bilateral (squat or pushup)
- 9) 3 on isolateral/bilateral test
- Active Straight Leg Raise (ASLR)
- Rotational Stability
- Hurdle Step
- Push up
- Deep Squat
Once the FMS priorites are determined, pick the top 3 priorities for each movement and then we are ready to start FMS Solutions.
Until next time, where we speak about FMS solutions and if the FMS really works.
Keep bringing the HOTNESS,
Marc Digesti USAW PerformancEDU LLC
Before stepping on the training floor, we have to build a foundation on how your program is designed. The Evaluation process is essential to:
- gather information
- answer any types of questions
- introduce training philosophies
- designing an individualized training program
At PerformancEDU, we strive towards building you the best possible program based off of your needs. The Evaluation components include:
- Your Injury/Medical History: We compile any injuries which might have any impact on your movements and design a safe and effective program based from those needs. All medical history will be kept confidential.
- Your Training Goals: Why are you here? From this answer, we will discuss how we are going to evolve in the training program through short and long term goals. This is an area where we break down if you are a weekend warrior, an avid athlete or an athlete in life and from this, we build a program relating to those area’s.
- Your Body Composition: We perform a 7 site caliper body fat analysis to assess your body fat percentage, lean mass, fat pounds and weight. This is a great way to track your progress with your training goals.
- Your Functional Movement Screen: The FMS is not an assessment, it’s simply a screen which quickly allows us to rate the quality of your movement patterns or the efficiency of the way you move. When the efficiencey of your movement pattern is comprimised, it forces you to compensate. From compensating, it allows your muscles to become imbalanced, create stiffness, create aches/pains and which eventually leads to injury. From the FMS, we take your inefficient movement patterns and catch them before your training begins. This allows us to create a program which will clean your inefficient movement patterns.