FMS Rotary Stability Movement Pattern

The reactive tri-planar pattern is something we experience when we resist rotation to maintain a position when there is a push or a pull on one side of the body. Rotary Stability (RS) is expressed when we create or resist rotation to crawl, climb, run, swing and throw. In our developmental stages we use the cross connection of opposite arm to opposite leg to crawl. As kids, we learn to climb, run, and bound by expressing this ability.

When we are tossing a heavy bag into a car, or throwing a baseball on the field, many of us naturally will load into a rotation then uncoil to toss the object. This coiling affect is the natural extension of the crossing diagonal pattern. We need the ability to coil and uncoil the torso to transfer forces to our extremities. We also depend on the ability to resist rotation when we pick up an object on one side of the body and brace ourselves with the opposite side.

Continuing our Functional Movement Screen (FMS) series, this week we demonstrate the Rotary Stability Movement Pattern. This marks the last of seven movement screens 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.

In the video, Julie demonstrates the unilateral movement for 3 repetitions.

To receive a score of 3, there must be no faults. Her moving arm and leg must remain over the board, the support-side thumb, knee and toe must remain in contact with the board, and without touching down, she must connect the same-side elbow to the same-side knee directly over the board. As you can see, this screen presents a balance and motor control challenge. Julie is not able to maintain contact with the board, and her moving arm does not remain over the board. She receives a score of 2 because she was able to perform the correct diagonal repetition; her opposite knee and elbow make contact over the board without touching down.

This screen is designed as a perturbation challenge. Perturbation literally means an agitation or a loss of balance. The change in base of support when you lift an arm and a leg forces the need for a shift and disturbance to your stability that requires the body to react quickly and communicate using the deeper core musculature to maintain the position.

Not many people practice the unilateral movement seen in this screen and there is an obvious inability to do it when someone fails this motor control challenge. Many individuals focus on the fact that they cannot perform the unilateral challenge rather than the fact that they show a fundamental level motor control by successfully completing the diagonal challenge in this screen. An opportunity presents itself when people cannot perform the diagonal pattern due to the lack of mobility that prevents them from accessing it.

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