Evolution Fitness was one of the first gyms in Tucson Utilizing the FMS as a screening tool. It has been a very important tool in helping us make sure our clients are receiving the best plan of action when it comes to their fitness and health goals. Here is a little write up from our FMS Level 2 certified Trainer, Aris Demarco.
BUILDING HEALTHY MOVEMENT
Developing and maintaining quality movement is one of our main goals here at Evolution Fitness and the one we address first in each of our clients. Without a foundation of quality movement nothing else that we do will have any lasting value.
We follow the philosophy of the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) as a baseline to determine each client’s quality of movement. The FMS consists of 7 movement patterns that examine symmetry, mobility, stability, and coordination in the basic movement patterns.
- Symmetry is important because, although no one has a perfectly symmetrical body, having one arm or leg much stronger or more flexible than the other will most definitely increase the risk of injury whether in the gym or in daily life.
- Mobility is generally defined as the amount of flexibility an individual can control, or the functional range of motion around each joint. For example, with the aid of a partner I might be able to lift my arms over my head, but if I cannot control that position by myself, it will not do me much good if I attempt to lift a weight overhead.
- Stability is the capability of preventing unwanted motion. This is vital for efficient movement as well as safe body control.
- Coordination through basic movement patterns is perhaps the most important aspect; without the efficiency and control that comes with familiarity, even the most elementary movements our body uses will become potentially dangerous. High quality movement, on the other hand, makes everyday life easier, more comfortable, and less risky; and enables safe loading of the basic movement patterns to produce strength gains.
For clients who do not yet possess good quality movement, we employ corrective drills that include stretching, coordination drills, and stability exercises. We also have a number of regressions to each movement pattern that present the client with a clear path from basic to advanced movement.
Many of those progressions form the basis for our strength programming. Even in our group classes where everyone does the same workout, various regressions enable most clients a chance to train in a manner customized to their body and any limitations they might have. As each individual becomes stronger and more coordinated they have more options in terms of advancing variations of each movement and with mastery of the basics comes more potential for added weight. Many clients cannot perform a free squat when they first begin training, but as they practice the movements and work on their specific imbalances it is not uncommon to eventually load these movements with significant amounts of weight.
Our strength programming itself is usually fairly simple but not always easy. Low repetitions ensure a high level of concentration and good quality practice so that the movements are learned more easily and performed more safely. Though the strength movements are often supported by accessory exercises including everything from athletic drills, bodybuilding, conditioning and endurance training, the focus is always on the fundamental movements. Pushing, pulling, hinging, squatting and carrying weights in different positions, form the basis for almost all of our strength training. For the most part, we use kettlebells, barbells, or bodyweight exercises instead of machines. The lack of external support and the challenge of fighting gravity mean that gaining strength in the manner we perform these exercises will better carry over to real world tasks whether that is lifting a bag of groceries or competing in an athletic event.
Aris DeMarco- NSCA-CPT, FMS2