Exercise Professionals

This is taken from the book, Movement, to describe how we draw the line between fitness and rehabilitation professionals.

The distinction between a screen and an assessment is this: The screen is done by health and fitness professionals on normal populations, whereas the assessment is performed by a medical or rehabilitation professional already aware of an abnormal condition. Pain is usually the primary complaint, which may or may not be complicated by movement dysfunction. Whether the patient has pain, is referred to a healthcare professional following a movement screen, or seeks medical advice directly, a systematic breakdown of the pain relative to movement is the first order of business.

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The Functional Movement System (FMS) captures fundamental movements, motor control within movement patterns, and competence of basic movements uncomplicated by specific skills. It will determine the greatest areas of movement deficiency, demonstrate limitations or asymmetries, and eventually correlate these with an outcome. Once you find the greatest asymmetry or deficiency, you can use measurements that are more precise if needed.The FMS is comprised of seven movement tests that require a balance of mobility and stability. The patterns used provide observable performance of basic, manipulative and stabilizing movements by placing clients in positions where weaknesses, imbalances, asymmetries and limitations become noticeable by a trained health and fitness professional.

Unlike the SFMA, the FMS does not have a formal breakout or built-in movement reduction for each pattern because it is not a diagnostic system. Its role is to impose minimum standards on movement patterns in active populations. Attempting isolated diagnosis would create an extra step without offering greater corrective solutions, and could even offer fewer options in some cases. In the FMS, there’s no need to identify anything other than a limited or asymmetrical pattern.

The FMS targets professionals who work with movement as it relates to exercise, recreation, fitness and athletics. It also has applications for the military, fire service, public safety, industries and other highly active occupations.

The FMS is not intended for those displaying pain in basic movement patterns. Painful movement is covered in the SFMA. The FMS is for healthy, active people and for healthy and inactive people who want to increase physical activity. The following professionals will benefit greatly from using the FMS.

  • Recreational Activity Instructors
  • Tennis and Golf Professionals
  • Outdoor Activity Instructors
  • Sports and Conditioning Coaches
  • Physical Educators
  • Health and Safety Instructors
  • Dance Instructors
  • Yoga Instructors
  • Pilates Instructors
  • Personal Trainers
  • Massage Therapists
  • Strength Coaches
  • Athletic Trainers
  • Physical Therapists
  • Chiropractic Physicians
  • Medical Physicians
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