FMS Shoulder Movement Pattern

Upper body mobility and control are fundamental to many movements throughout our everyday lives. Our ability to carry, push, pull, reach overhead, and even walk is influenced by the upper body reciprocal pattern and upper limb mobility and control. We screen the Reciprocal Upper Body pattern with the Shoulder Mobility Screen, looking at coordination of the thoracic spine, scapula, and control of the shoulder and upper limbs.

Continuing our Functional Movement Screen (FMS) series, this week we demonstrate Shoulder Mobility. This marks the fourth 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 this video, we conduct a right-arm Shoulder Mobility Screen and Shoulder Clearing Test. The client’s hand length measured 17 centimeters. For a score of 3, her fists need to be within one hand length (less than 17 centimeters). For a score of 2, her fists need to be within one and a half hand lengths (less than 25.5 centimeters). When the participant’s fists are greater than one and a half hand length, they receive a score of 1.

Be sure to perform the shoulder clearing test bilaterally after the mobility screen. If there is pain associated with this movement, the individual receives a score of zero and is referred out.