Functional Movement screen

Includes a Sports Movement Assessment

The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a screening tool used to evaluate seven fundamental movement patterns in individuals with no current pain complaint or musculoskeletal injury. The FMS is not intended to diagnose orthopedic problems but rather to demonstrate opportunities for improved movement in individuals.

The assessment is suitable for anyone who trains or competes in sport at any level and many  of our patients use the Functional Movement Screen to help them prepare for taking up a new sport, climbing a mountain or going on an active holiday.   

The FMS can address the following:

When to use the Functional Movement Screen

The FMS can be used to identify problems that might not be identified during an ordinary physio appointment or evaluation. These issues include muscle flexibility, strength imbalances or compensation due to previous injury and are recognised risk factors for future injury.

It can be used to identify functional deficits related to proprioceptive, mobility and stability limitations. If these risk factors can be identified and addressed using the FMS, then a decrease in future injury and improved performance should follow.

The FMS can also be used to re-screen for feedback every 4-6 weeks or when an improvement is seen in the priority movement pattern. Re-screening provides feedback into the effectiveness of the current program design and provides insight on how and when to move to higher level progressions or a new priority movement pattern.

When a Functional Movement Screen might not be suitable

A Functional Movement Assessment is not suitable if you have any specific ongoing issues or pains. In this case, a 60 minute physio appointment is likely to be more useful so that we can assess you clinically. 

Functional Movement Screen

It's like an MOT for your body
£ 60
  • 45 minute Full Movement Screen
  • Individualised Programme designed for you

Functional movement screen

The Functional Movement Screen tests seven fundamental movement patterns that are key to identifying your functional movement quality. The process provides a reliable baseline for actionable and effective steps to improve your performance and recovery.

The 7 movement patterns

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The screen is designed to place an individual in extreme positions where movement deficits become noticeable if appropriate stability and mobility are not used. 

Even though individuals are performing an activity or sport at a high level, it has been observed that many of these same individuals are limited in fundamental movement. This leads to the use of compensatory movements in order to achieve or maintain the level of performance needed for the activity. The inefficient use of compensation during movement will lead to poor biomechanics that limit gains in performance and reduces the body’s ability to remain adaptable and durable against the risks of being involved in the activity or sport.


The Deep Squat pattern challenges total body mechanics and neuromuscular control. We use it to test bilateral, symmetrical, functional mobility and stability of the hips, knees and ankles. The dowel overhead requires bilateral symmetrical mobility and stability of the shoulders, scapular region and the thoracic spine. The pelvis and core must establish stability and control throughout the entire movement to achieve the full pattern.​


The hurdle step pattern is an integral part of locomotion and acceleration. This movement challenges the body’s step and stride mechanics, while testing stability and control in a singleleg stance. The hurdle step requires bilateral mobility and stability of the hips, knees and ankles. The test also challenges stability and control of the pelvis and core as it offers an opportunity to observe functional symmetry


The Inline Lunge pattern places the body in a position to simulate stresses during rotation, deceleration and lateral movements. The inline lunge places the lower extremities in a splitstance while the upper extremities are in an opposite or reciprocal pattern. This replicates the natural counterbalance the upper and lower extremities use to complement each other, as it uniquely demands spine stabilization. This test also challenges hip, knee, ankle and foot mobility and stability


The Shoulder Mobility pattern demonstrates the natural complementary rhythm of the scapular-thoracic region, thoracic spine and rib cage during reciprocal upper-extremity shoulder movements. This pattern also observes bilateral shoulder range of motion, combining extension, internal rotation and adduction in one extremity, and flexion, external rotation and abduction of the other.


The Active Straight-Leg Raise pattern not only identifies the active mobility of the flexed hip, but looks at the core stability within the pattern, as well as the available hip extension of the alternate hip. This is not so much a test of hip flexion on one side, as it is an appraisal of the ability to separate the lower extremities in an unloaded position. This pattern also challenges the ability to dissociate the lower extremities while maintaining stability in the pelvis and core.


The Trunk Stability Push-Up pattern is used as a basic observation of reflex core stabilization, and is not a test or measure of upper body strength. The goal is to initiate movement with the upper extremities in a push up pattern without allowing movement in the spine or hips. The movement tests the ability to stabilize the spine in the sagittal plane during the closed kinetic chain, upper body symmetrical movement.


The Rotary Stability pattern is complex, requiring proper neuromuscular coordination and energy transfer through the torso. This pattern observes multi-plane pelvis, core and shoulder girdle stability during a combined upper and lower extremity movement. The movement demonstrates reflex stabilization and weight shifting in the transverse plane, and it represents the coordinated efforts of mobility and stability observed in fundamental climbing patterns.

Scoring criteria

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The FMS uses a simplistic grading system. Each individual movement pattern has certain criteria that must be accomplished in order to obtain a high score. The scoring is broken down into four basic criteria:

Interpreting Screen Results

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Within the FMS there is an algorithm or procedure for addressing the asymmetries and restrictions found in the screen. The algorithm allows us to quickly identify and prioritize deficient movement patterns. Once the priority movement pattern has been identified, this allows for targeted intervention using corrective exercise. 

If an individual has no areas of concern within a movement pattern then they would be cleared to train and load that pattern. This provides an appropriate movement baseline for further physical capacity and performance testing, such as the Y-Balance Test.

The FMS is not intended to diagnose orthopedic problems but rather to demonstrate opportunities for improved movement in individuals.

Your questions answered

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Where do you offer the FMS?

The FMS is available at both our Derby (Pride Park) and Long Eaton clinics.

What should I wear?

You should wear loose comfortable clothing to allow free movement during the assessment (e.g. vest and shorts). 

Is this suitable if I'm suffering from existing 'everyday' pains?

Probably not - if you have specific  ongoing issues or pains, then a 60 minute physio appointment is likely to be more useful so that we can assess you clinically. 

Pain experienced on the screening test movements fails the screen and would need to be assessed clinically. 

How long will it take?

The assessment  lasts 45 minutes

What will I get from the assessment?

After the assessment, we will provide you with a full prevention or injury treatment plan which may include a tailored online exercise programme you can do at home with advice on other subjects such as posture.

Online exercise programs to follow at home

After your treatment, your physio will provide you with a personalised exercise program to follow at home.

Personalised to you

Each exercise includes an online video clip that you can view on a smartphone, computer or tablet.

View online or print

You can either watch the exercises online or print them off.

Professional Quality Videos and handouts

Clear hand-outs with Professional studio pictures and clear written instructions.