FMS Active Straight-Leg Raise Movement Pattern

When we learn to crawl, walk and run in our developmental sequence we naturally use the lower limbs in a reciprocal way. This is part of our contralateral movement and counterbalances the upper body movements. The reciprocal lower body pattern is the foundation of our locomotive patterns and is used in many everyday activities as we walk to the car, go for a trail hike, and climb stairs. Half kneeling and lunging also depend on the reciprocal lower body pattern as well.

This pattern is also expressed in the hip hinge. The control of your center of mass and weight shifting through the hips while protecting the spine is a critical component of many daily, work, and sport movements.

The reciprocal lower body pattern is screened using the Active Straight Leg Raise (ASLR). This is the fourth in the series of seven Functional Movement Screens (FMS) used as part of a scoring system to determine a body’s readiness to engage in higher level physical activities in the weight room and on the field. The FMS screen is NOT a training tool or exercise guide. It is comprised of movement patterns that require mobility and stability. These movements were specifically designed to place clients in positions where weaknesses, imbalances, asymmetries and limitations become noticeable by a trained fitness professional.

The ASLR is often misunderstood as a hamstring test but it requires us to perform extension on the stationary leg while at the same time performing flexion of the raising leg. This requires appropriate stabilization of the pelvis and lumbar spine before and during the execution of the movement.

If you are interested in learning more about your body’s mobility and stability, schedule a Functional Movement Screen with a trained, certified professionals.