By Brian Bott, Certified Personal Trainer
Much to the surprise of most gym goers and fitness professionals alike, the most common reason for failure of a weight loss or exercise program is injury. Compounding this problem is the fact that the biggest predictor of injury is…you guessed it… a previous injury! If you ask a room full of people if they’ve ever been injured I would guarantee that more people than not will answer yes to that question.
So what are we doing wrong that’s causing such a high level of injury in the population of people we would assume to be in the best shape? What’s happening to these people that never had any pain before but suddenly when they make an attempt to do a positive thing by becoming active they end up hurt? The answer is simple. We’re not performing any sort of screening process to catch any potential injury risks. Think of it like your car. Before a long trip what do you do? You check the tire pressure, get an oil change, maybe even an alignment check. Now if all you are doing is driving to and from work, a small problem with any of these things may not cause a problem for your car. However, if you take that car with poor alignment and low tire pressure and attempt a curve at 60mph, something’s going to give. The same holds true for the human body. You may have some stability or mobility imbalances that may not cause you any trouble in your daily life but they are sure to result in injury when you press on that gas pedal which in our case is exercise. So the question now is what to do about it? Enter, The Functional Movement Screen.
The Functional Movement Screen is a series of seven fundamental movements used to identify any potential problems before starting exercise. These seven movements are; the deep overhead squat, hurdle step, in line lunge, shoulder mobility, active straight leg raise, trunk stability push up, and rotary stability. Each movement is scored on a scale from 0-3. A 3 is scored if the movement is performed perfectly. A 2 is scored if the movement is performed with some form of compensation. A 1 is scored if the movement cannot be performed at all. And finally a 0 is only scored if there is pain present during the movement.
While we rarely see anyone score a perfect 21 our goal is to make sure we are at least a 14 with no asymmetries, meaning no difference between left and right scores. Number two on the list for biggest predictors of injury are asymmetries and the screen does a fantastic job of pinpointing those weaknesses. The research gathered from the NFL using this screen is pretty staggering. Those players who scored below a 14 or presented an asymmetry jumped from a 15% to a 55% chance of a non-contact injury. There is also much research into other groups such as police and firemen that show this same trend.
The good news is that if you score poorly on the screen, meeting with a qualified trainer who has experience with the screen can save you a lot of time and frustration in your training. I have had clients tell me they have never been able to touch their toes and after performing the screen and working on a few quick drills based on their score are able to effortlessly bend over and touch their toes. I’ve also had clients who have had frequent knee, hip, or back pain that have taken care of themselves by improving their scores on the Functional Movement Screen.
Here are two Functional Movement Screen options that Eastpointe Health & Fitness offers to put you on the path to smarter, injury free fitness.
OPTION 1: For $99 you will receive a one hour screening and evaluation AND 2 one-hour sessions afterward to work on corrective exercise.
In the screening we will help identify any muscular imbalances, weaknesses, or compensations that are keeping you from moving properly and putting you at risk for potential injury. The two sessions following your screening, your trainer will make sure you are comfortable performing the prescribed corrective exercises as well as make general recommendations as to what to avoid in your training until these issues are resolved.
OPTION 2: For $199 you will receive the same screening and evaluation as Option 1, 2 sessions of corrective work, PLUS an extra 2 sessions covering an individualized program for you to work on going forward.
This program is yours to keep and will be specifically designed to continue to correct your imbalances as well as progress you towards your goals in a safe and efficient manner. This is an all-inclusive program that will detail from start to finish what stretches, strength training, and cardio is appropriate given your current fitness level and functional movement scoring. In just a few short weeks you’ll be looking, moving, and most importantly feeling better!
Visit our Functional Movement Screening page for more information.
So whether you’re looking to improve athletic performance or just want to make sure you’re not setting yourself up for injury, it is well worth the time to come to Eastpointe Health & Fitness where we have qualified professionals to perform the screen for you. From your score your trainer can help you not only strengthen your weaknesses, but also design a program that still allows you to train hard on movements that are safe for you.
At one point in our lives, we all could perform these seven developmental movements. For one reason or another along the way we lost this ability either due to poor training habits, loss of proper posture, or an injury that caused our body to change the way it moves to avoid pain. But why this happened really isn’t as important as what you are going to do about it now! Make an appointment today at Eastpointe Health & Fitness to get screened. Then we can identify your problem areas, fix them and train you to make sure your body gets fit while staying injury free.
Brian Bott holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Sports Science, and is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He strives to maximize his knowledge of the field, and continues to attend seminars and lectures on all health and fitness topics that can help him improve his client’s results. Brian can help those of all ages and fitness levels reach their goals, from the high school wrestler looking to change weight classes to the previously inactive person who is ready to adopt a healthier lifestyle.