One of the things that differentiates my approach to fitness and wellness from most fitness trainers and yoga teachers is that 1) I’m trained in both areas and 2) I use the Functional Movement Systems FMS (Functional Movement Screen) in working with each client. Most of my clients have either a goal to reduce pain and/or improve performance and from my experience over the years, I’ve seen how having a deeper sense of embodiment, or the self knowledge of moving well, can not only help you feel well, but its a secret to playing well.

The FMS is a screening tool designed to identify compensatory movement patterns that are indicative of increased injury risk and inefficient movement that causes reduced performance. The screen assesses 7 basic movement patterns to identify tightness and weakness in the body – so we can correct them before they cause major problems.  Then, I’ll take that information into session(s) where I design personalized corrective exercises, stretches, self-myofascial release and mobility exercises to use as warm-up, cool-down, movement breaks at work, or a separate days routine, to work on those imbalances. I help you embody your body better. It’s a level of awareness that takes some effort, but has many rewards.

When was the last time you’ve had a personal trainer or even a physical therapy assessment that addresses your whole body? I’ve realized that while some fitness trainers/yoga teachers have an amazing sense of the body and are meticulous in their observations, trusting the eyes of any trainer (including my own) can be very subjective. And if you’ve seen a physical therapist recently, they probably only evaluated your injured area. In our modern, data driven world, I knew it was time to create a business that uses the FMS to enhance my expertise in functional & mind/body fitness to help exercisers, yoga practitioners, athletes and those stepping down from physical therapy, upgrade their self knowledge, or embodiment, (and self care) in a more personal way. FMS is the most cutting edge screening system possible and you should check them out here.

FMS is a physical therapist-designed and data-based screen that has become regarded as the Gold Standard of assessing movement and stability in the pro & collegiate sports worlds for the last 20+ years. Now I am making it available to you. My goal is to be your guide as you bridge the gap between fitness, yoga, sport, pre/post therapy and healthcare and with the FMS screen as part of our session(s) I invite you to live well into older age with me, pain free and performing at your best in whatever it is that you do.

Here are the some reasons why I think the FMS should be on everyone’s must-do list as the foundation of your preventative fitness & wellness life:

1. The screen is objective. Traditional personal trainer assessments are by nature subjective: You do push-ups or squats or stability tests and are assigned workouts from there based on how things look from certain angles. While some trainers have mastered the art of assessing, and I have very keen eyes as well, there are no mechanisms to ensure totally accurate reporting. The FMS, on the other hand, is all based on specific measurements of movements, taken multiple times. Movements are performed on a proprietary yardstick-looking device with numbered notches, measuring functional movement that traditional assessments cannot. And my mind/body, educational approach loves how the honesty of the screen exposes your body’s “blindspots” – areas of overuse, underuse, mis-use, abuse, or areas you just don’t perceive very well. Left untouched, these areas are catalysts for pain & injury. The screen speaks to my interest in helping you be preventative in your personal self care-health care routine. Wouldn’t it be great if you could avoid injury, co-pay’s, repeated time-off of work for doctor & therapy appointments, etc., and have more confidence in and be more in control of your health?

2. The things you will learn about your symmetry are surprising. If you think your lunge form is great or that your squat is geometrically sound, you might be right. Or you might be surprised to find that one leg temporarily juts too far to one direction to make up for an imbalance in the others side’s hip muscles. Alternately, if you don’t know the first thing about basic functional movements, you will learn proper form throughout the body based on how you already move.

3. Everyone has things to work on. It’s rare to get a perfect score during the FMS. Doesn’t matter if you’ve just had a baby and stopped working out on week four of your pregnancy or if you’re a competitive athlete, the FMS shows specifics of where anyone has room for improvement in their movement patterns. For instance, yogis who have ample hamstring length might find that based on their FMS score, their flexibility in their shoulders isn’t up to par. And that the two could be related. Or that while being able to perform a perfectly aligned Chaturanga in class, outside of yoga their core stability might not be as functional as it could be (something that if improved could take your yoga flow practice to a whole new level).

4. You walk away with insights about your personal movement signature. Each movement is scored on a scale of 1-3, and notated on a form that you to keep. At the end of the screen, you’ve both learned where you fall on that scale for each move as well as what your specific imbalances are. Some movement patterns are likely to get a top score, while others need some work.

5. In addition to notating your screen performance numbers on a scale of 1-3, you’ll receive a personalized program of corrective or what I call “connective” homework. (exercises informed with my mind/body approach). You can continue working on these movements on your own as warm-up/warm-down routines, movement breaks, or use the baseline revealed in the screen to work with me to regularly measure progress.

The FMS is available within all sessions I provide, but recommended mostly at the first session and for follow up sessions, by request. My goal is to help you know your body better so that you move well, prevent injury and provide yourself with self-therapy throughout your day. So, when you get to the gym or the yoga class (or meet with a personal trainer), you are well prepared and ready to go.

Use your specific “connective” exercises as a well-informed morning or evening routine and as warm-up/warm-down routines at the gym, just like the pros do. And how about having more options you can do at work when your Fitbit buzzes each hour, providing you with intelligent movement snacks your body is craving?

Contact me to learn more about the FMS and my services to optimize your personal movement & wellness goals.