The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is a series of 7 full-body movement tests designed to assess fundamental patterns of movement such as bending and squatting in those with known musculoskeletal pain. When the clinical assessment is initiated from the perspective of the movement pattern, the clinician has the opportunity to identify meaningful impairments that may be seemingly unrelated to the main musculoskeletal complaint, but contribute to the associated disability. This concept, known as Regional Interdependence, is the hallmark of the SFMA. 


The assessment guides the clinician to the most dysfunctional non-painful movement pattern, which is then assessed in detail. This approach is designed to complement the existing exam and serve as a model to efficiently integrate the concepts of posture, muscle balance and the fundamental patterns of movement into musculoskeletal practice. By addressing the most dysfunctional non-painful pattern, the application of targeted interventions (manual therapy and therapeutic exercise) is not adversely affected by pain.


The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is the product of an exercise philosophy known as Functional Movement Systems. This exercise philosophy and corresponding set of resources is based on sound science, years of innovation, and current research.

How it Works - Simplifying Movement

Put simply, 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 FMS generates the Functional Movement Screen Score, which 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.

Exercise 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.


What Do The Movement Screens Do?

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

Communication - The FMS utilizes simple language, making it easy for individuals, exercise professionals, and physicians to communicate clearly about progress and treatment.

Evaluation - The screen effortlessly identifies asymmetries and limitations, diminishing the need for extensive testing and analysis.

Standardization - The FMS/SFMA creates a functional baseline to mark progress and provides a means to measure performance.

Safety - They quickly identifies dangerous 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 - They 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.