What goes on beyond the screen?

How do we determine our priorities after we get screened?

On Monday, May 23, 2016, a cycling friend was screened with the functional movement screen (FMS) and the Y-Balance Test (YBT). The goal was to perform a photo shoot for a future information session to discuss about what happens in a first session and how this will help set priorities for training for her sporting endeavours.

First, when the client and the coach meet, the athlete shares their experience in training, overall training goals and previous injuries (which is a predictor of future injuries in itself and it needs to be accounted for before each new routine).

Following that, this is where the client gets screened (with the FMS in our case) to determine if they have asymmetries in their movement patterns ( deep squat, hurdle step, inline lunge, shoulder mobility, active straight leg raise, trunk stability push up and rotary stability). According to how the athlete performs, they get a score from 0-3:

0- movement indicating pain

1- The athlete cannot perform movement

2- The athlete can perform movement with a level of compensation

3- Movement is correct

The maximum possible score is 21. If your numbers are equal or inferior to 14, you have more chances of getting injured. Please note that the overall result gives us only the bigger picture. It is important to dig deeper into each individual test score in order to help out the athlete.

Above all, pain needs to be taken care of first. Then, mobility takes priority over stability. It is important to find out what causes the pain if it is present. This can be assessed with some other tests such as the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA).

Following the FMS, we did the Y-Balance test (YBT) which evaluated the athlete while using all of the movement patterns together (originally separated in the FMS).

The good news is that during testing, the athlete experienced no pain, which means that all of her results were above zero. Although she did not feel any pain, she did show asymmetries and dysfunction. The two things that were noticed were the active straight leg raise and the trunk stability push-up. The active straight leg raise assesses the ability to dissociate the lower body from the trunk which would help a cyclist get into a more aggressive position on the bicycle amongst other things. The push-up test is more related to core stability, which is our second priority after mobility.


Following the FMS, we did the YBT, which challenged her mobility, stability and proprioception. The numbers obtained during that test gave us a baseline for future evaluations to see the progress in the athlete’s training and also confirmed the asymmetries in the upper body and lack of mobility and stability in the lower body.

In order to address her mobility issues in her lower body and her stability issues in her core, one of the exercises given was the “Assisted Single Leg Lowering to Bolster” exercise. You can see it in the images below.

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 8.24.27 PM

2 thoughts on “What goes on beyond the screen?”

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