What is the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and Why Should I Care?

Physical Therapist Gray Cook developed the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) in around 2001. He designed the screening test to get insights as to movement issues people had that put them at risk for injuries. His goal was to create the best possible exercise programs to minimize these risks. Provided you are healthy and have no pain or injury, you may wish to determine whether you suffer from functional limitations that impact your overall health and well-being.

Functional limitations can potentially impact the way we shift and maintain our body position; run or walk; or lift, handle and carry things. Some people may even have functional limitations they are completely unaware of. Ultimately, these limitations may cause weaknesses, imbalances and instabilities that can impact people’s lives in significant ways, such as getting headaches or feeling pain for no apparent reason. Correcting these functional limitations with an integrative health coach can significantly improve a person’s quality of life. The Functional Movement Screen provides an indicator of people’s movement capabilities and lays a strong foundation for improvement. In fact, did you know studies have shown that firefighters who failed the Functional Movement Screen test generated more than 70% of related insurance claims, as opposed to those who passed it?

So What Comes Next With FMS?

An integrative health coach with FMS certification is fully qualified to screen, rank and grade 7 key movement patterns that are essential to normal bodily functioning. The screening enables a coach to identify underlying problems you may not even be aware of that may be holding you back from physical progress. These could include:

  • Tightness or weakness in key muscles
  • Movement asymmetries
  • Balance or coordination issues.

Once your coach has identified any areas of weakness, they have a baseline from which to prescribe effective exercises to help restore you to proper movement, build your strength, and competently track your improvements.

Your FMS could yield three potential outcomes:

  • You receive an acceptable screen, following which you are safe to proceed with full physical activities.
  • You receive a screen that is not acceptable, but simply suggests you require corrective strategies in place before progressing.
  • Or you may feel pain during movement, which indicates you require a referral to an appropriate health care provider.

FMS Is the Only Functional Screening That Dovetails With Other Health Professionals

While it is true that coaches with similar certifications can also identify movement deficiencies, only an FMS trained integrative health coach is properly trained to employ the same language that physical therapists, doctors and other health professionals uniformly use. You can potentially see the benefit in that – should you encounter a problem for which you need to seek medical advice.

Derek Opperman has full certification to

detect and correct functional limitations of both men and women.


After completing the Functional Movement Screen, LifeUP will design the proper warm-up and training program to ensure the safest, most effective regimen possible. LifeUP has worked with clients with a myriad of previous injuries and dysfunctions. As long as you experience no pain during the FMS, we can address and program for any existing or previous shoulder, low back, or knee injuries.

After the initial assessment, LifeUP will use the latest integrative health coaching techniques to build a workout regimen designed to deliver body-transforming results. Your workout periods will range from strength and muscle building, endurance-building exercise circuits, and core centric bodyweight programming. Dread going to the gym? We can help. Find out how.