FMS Scores Change With Performers' Knowledge of the Grading Criteria-Are General Whole-Body Movement Screens Capturing "Dysfunction"?

J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Nov;29(11):3037-44. doi: 10.1097/JSC.0000000000000211.


Deficits in joint mobility and stability could certainly impact individuals' Functional Movement Screen (FMS) scores; however, it is also plausible that the movement patterns observed are influenced by the performers' knowledge of the grading criteria. Twenty-one firefighters volunteered to participate, and their FMS scores were graded before and immediately after receiving knowledge of the movement patterns required to achieve a perfect score on the FMS. Standardized verbal instructions were used to administer both screens, and the participants were not provided with any coaching or feedback. Time-synchronized sagittal and frontal plane videos were used to grade the FMS. The firefighters significantly (p < 0.001) improved their FMS scores from 14.1 (1.8) to 16.7 (1.9) when provided with knowledge pertaining to the specific grading criteria. Significant improvements (p < 0.05) were also noted in the deep squat (1.4 [0.7]-2.0 [0.6]), hurdle step (2.1 [0.4]-2.4 [0.5]), in-line lunge (2.1 [0.4]-2.7 [0.5]), and shoulder mobility (1.8 [0.8]-2.4 [0.7]) tests. Because a knowledge of a task's grading criteria can alter a general whole-body movement screen score, FMS or otherwise, observed changes may not solely reflect "dysfunction." The instant that individuals are provided with coaching and feedback regarding their performance on a particular task, the task may lose its utility to evaluate the transfer of training or predict musculoskeletal injury risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Test / methods*
  • Female
  • Firefighters
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Male
  • Movement*