Movement Testing



Every line is the perfect length if you don’t measure it.
— Marty Rubin

It's no secret that to continue to improve in a sustainable, repeatable manner you have to know where you stand each step of the way.

It all starts with your foundation

The folks at Functional Movement Systems have a mantra: Move Well, then Move Often. Too frequently we are caught up in the volume of what we do rather than the quality, and too often we leave ourselves open to injury and setbacks. At Movement Thru Rehab we try to pay attention to your movement competence (quality) first, then worry about your volume or intensity (quantity). And this applies to whether you are rehabilitating from injury or taking your performance to the next level. The diagram below encapsulates the process which Gray Cook, et al. established and which we follow.  

What this means practically is that when you come to see us you're going to get tested. We need to understand where you are today so we can start your adaptation process for tomorrow. The following tools give us a headstart on this process.


The FMS is designed to rank a person’s movement patterns by putting them up against a series of seven tests and three clearing tests that require fundamental movement competency to perform. The movement patterns tested are not sport-, activity-, age- or gender-specific but, rather, account for necessary human movement capabilities all the way from daily life up to higher-level athletic environments.


For more information on the science behind the FMS please visit the Functional Movement Systems website.

Y-Balance Test (YBT)

The YBT has both upper quarter (body) and lower quarter (body) components. The YBT-UQ and YBT-LQ are dynamic tests of strength, flexibility, core control and proprioception (knowing where your body is in space). They challenge your ability to balance on one arm or leg and reach out in three different directions with control, precision and maximum excursion. Research suggests incorporating the YBT-LQ within a battery of screening tests for identifying athletes at greater risk for lower extremity injury.


For more information on the science behind the YBT please visit the Move2Perform website which is the group behind its development.

Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)

The SFMA is considered the sister exam to the FMS because, like the FMS, it looks at movement patterns rather than isolated strength or flexibility measures. However, unlike the FMS the SFMA is a clinical tool used by clinicians (rather than fitness professionals) to assist in the diagnosis of movement impairments and neuromuscular dysfunctions. As highlighted in the figure at the top of the page the SFMA is the entry point for a patient coming in for rehabilitation. The Top Tier of SFMA tests then lead to a breakout of component tests that guide the clinician's critical reasoning to investigate salient contributors to movement pattern dysfunction.


For a demonstration of how the Top Tier leads to further breakout tests please visit this page (LINK).