Functional Movement Screen: Unlocking the Secret to Performance

What Is It? The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) was originally developed in 1995 to collect “objective data for statistical analysis of human movement patterns with respect to functional performance and injury prevention.”1 Today FMS is widely used to train and prepare professional and elite level athletes to improve performance and reduce risk of injury. At Cioffredi & Associates we are now offering FMS to help athletes unlock the secret to increased performance. The FMS can make all the difference to an elite athlete’s training regimen.     

The core concept behind FMS lies in the very building blocks of movement; before your body can perform at maximum function, fundamental movement patterns have to be operating at maximum capacity. Once these building blocks are there, training and physical conditioning have greater effect, resulting in increased performance. Conversely, if your movement patterns are deficient or unbalanced, that can result in decreased performance and susceptibility to injury.

How It Works The FMS is a ranking and grading system that documents movement patterns that are essential to normal function. It looks at movement patterns as a whole and how they can relate to injury or decreased athletic performance. By screening these patterns, the FMS quickly identifies functional limitations and asymmetries that may go un-noticed. These limitations can reduce the effects of functional training and physical conditioning as well as distort body awareness.2 The FMS is an excellent tool for athletes looking to increase their performance and fine tune their training regimen, and can also be used as a tool post-rehab to ensure that people are fully ready for return to their active lifestyle and decrease risk of re-injury.

FMS and “The Pros” The FMS is used by numerous college and pro sports teams including Stamford, Texas A&M, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks (to name just a few). The 2014 Super Bowl Champions, the Seattle Seahawks, started using FMS in 2012. They start each training offseason by conducting an FMS on each player to quickly assess a player’s movement quality, identifying limitations or areas of imbalance and these scores help coaches to formulate the training regimen for the offseason. The purpose is to correct imbalances that make players more susceptible to injury.3 We’ve certainly seen the results of this FMS based training!


  1. Functional Movement Systems, “History of FMS”, Accessed online 1/27/14
  2. Functional Movement Systems, “What is FMS”.  Accessed online 7/24/13.
  3. Seattle Seahawks, “Seahawks Daily – FMS”, Accessed online 1/27/14,—FMS/e78d4eea-33c4-48f2-a507-ceca68b71a9b