How a Selective Functional Movement Screen can improve your body

by | Apr 21, 2022

You’re living the active Colorado lifestyle, exercising several times during the week and the weekend you’re enjoying the great outdoors with a long hike or bike ride. You’re an avid Olympic lifter, runner, yogi, golfer, baseball player, soccer player, gym goer and all of a sudden doing the same movements that you’ve been doing for months starts giving you pain. You brush off the pain, stretch it out, and continue the workout. The next day the pain is still there and you decide to take a few days off. After a few days the pain is better so you go back to your exercise routine but then a few days later the pain is back, this time worse. Does this sound like someone you know? Chances are it’s yourself!

Every athlete knows how painful it is to miss out on games or competitions. What if there was a way to prevent these injuries from happening? Good news, there is! It’s called the SFMA, Selective Functional Movement Assessment. This is an assessment of what the body should be capable of doing. Lets take a look at some examples and relate them to certain sports.

Your shoulder should be able to produce 90 degrees of external rotation. When there is a limitation more stress is put on the surrounding musculature. For a golfer this could limit their backswing and cause the club to be off plane. For a quarterback it could be the difference from a touchdown to a pick six. A baseball pitcher could be losing velocity.

Our ankles should have 40 degrees of dorsiflexion. This is incredibly important for anyone who does squats. CrossFit, Olympic lifters, high school and college athletes all incorporate this movement into their exercise programs. If you don’t have adequate ankle dorsiflexion there is a good chance, you’ll drop your chest when getting low in the squat. This will put a lot of pressure on the low back and can lead to failure.

Cervical spine rotation should be 80 degrees. If a wide receiver doesn’t have that range of motion, that can cause the player to lose sight of a deep pass. A tennis player may not be able to locate the opponents volley after spinning around from hitting a backhand. A wrestler will need that range of motion as they grapple the opponent and get tossed around to see what moves they are trying to establish.

Spinal rotation in the thoracic spine should be 50 degrees. This is important for golfers, lacrosse, football, basketball, softball, wrestling, tennis, and hockey. Pretty much any sport with a rotation component.

There are plenty of more examples I can make but the point is every athlete can perform with limited mobility in the area’s mentioned above. But this will cause inefficiencies in other regions of the body which can break down and cause pain and ultimately, the athlete has to miss games or events. By knowing what body parts aren’t moving as well as they should be, and addressing how to correct these, an athlete’s performance can excel. The SFMA breaks down our body movements into a screen which provides the physician, coach, trainer, and athlete valuable information. So, get your SFMA screen today and see an improvement in your performance tomorrow.

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