Burnaby Physio FMS
Georgiy Sekretaryuk
November 25, 2015
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Understanding The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) in Physiotherapy

What is the FMS?

The FMS is a ranking and grading system that documents movement patterns that are key to normal function. By screening these patterns, the FMS readily identifies functional limitations and asymmetries. These are issues that can reduce the effects of functional training and physical conditioning and distort body awareness.The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) in Physiotherapy

The FMS is used to target problems and track progress. This scoring system is directly linked to the most beneficial corrective exercises to restore mechanically sound movement patterns.

Health professionals monitor the FMS score to track progress and to identify those exercises that will be most effective to restore proper movement and build strength in each individual.

The FMS is NOT a complete evaluation. It is simply a tool in a health professional’s toolbox that complements other systems of assessment and treatment.

Scoring System

There are 7 tests with each test scored out of 3 generating a total out of 21.  The 7 tests are:

  1. Deep Squat
  2. Hurdle Step
  3. Inline Lunge
  4. Shoulder Mobility
  5. Active Straight Leg Raise (ASLR)
  6.  Trunk Stability Pushup (TSP)
  7. Rotary Stability

There are also 3 clearance tests that simply look for pain and have no grading scale. The Deep Squat and TSP are asymmetrical tests while the other five are unilateral tests (testing both sides of the body).

Unlike most tests we’ve taken in life, aiming for 100% (21/21) is not the main goal. A score of 14/21 with no asymmetries is a “passing” grade and considered the minimum for safe movement.


The FMS simplifies the concept of movement and its impact on the body. Its streamlined system has benefits for everyone involved – individuals, exercise professionals, and physicians.

  • Evaluation – The screen effortlessly identifies asymmetries and limitations.
  • Standardization – The FMS creates a functional baseline to mark progress.
  • Safety – The FMS quickly identifies poor movement patterns so that they can be addressed. It also indicates an individual’s readiness to perform exercise so that realistic goals can be set and achieved.
  • Corrective Strategies – The FMS can be applied at any fitness level, simplifying corrective strategies of a wide array of movement issues. It identifies specific exercises based on individual FMS scores to instantly create customized treatment plans.

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Getting an FMS Screen in Burnaby, B.C.

This blog is written by Robbi Basran, Physiotherapist who is FMS and SFMA certified at our Burnaby Physiotherapy Clinic.

If interested in booking an FMS screen with Robbi, please contact our Burnaby Physiotherapy Clinic at 604-558-2273 and he would be happy to see you.


Cook, G. (2010). Movement: Functional movement systems: Screening, assessment, and corrective strategies. Aptos, CA: On Target Publications.



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