Efficacy of the Functional Movement Screen: A Review

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Kraus, K, Schütz, E, Taylor, WR, and Doyscher, R. Efficacy of the functional movement screen: a review. J Strength Cond Res 28(12): 3571–3584, 2014—The aim of this review was to evaluate and synthesize the scientific literature of the functional movement screen (FMS)-driven research for scientists and strength and conditioning specialists. An additional purpose was to optimize the methodological quality of prospective studies. Relevant research was identified through using a manual and electronically database search. Thirty-four articles met the inclusion criteria and were read, abstracted, and coded for this review. The publications were classified into different stages of Bishops Applied Research Model for the Sport Sciences (ARMSS). Thirteen descriptive studies explored the main tasks in test development like factor structure, objectivity, and reliability. They can be classified to the second stage of Bishops Model (ARMSS stage 2). Twelve studies covered ability of FMS to predict sporting performance and injury risk (ARMSS stages 3 and 4). Seven studies investigated the effectiveness of the FMS in designing programs (ARMSS stages 6 and 8). In addition, 2 assessed norming data. On the descriptive level, results suggest that the FMS is a reliable screen, if the rater is educated and has solid experience (>100 trials). Factor analysis describes the FMS as a unitary construct, which is an argument against the FMS total score. Studies clearly illustrate its limited ability to predict athletic performance. On the contrary, to predict injury risk in team sports, the FMS total score is supported by moderate scientific evidence. The majority of the FMS based intervention programs showed an improvement on general motor quality. However, a randomized trial does not confirm that results. Hence, to implement the findings on field, a critical strength and conditioning specialist is crucial.

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