Archive for the ‘FMS’ Category

Hello everyone.  Hope you are training with integrity, grace, and a bit of humility.  I am just finishing up my training for RKC Level 2 and Dan John is so correct that the training “is about the journey, not the destination”.  I have learned so much about myself and how to not only properly train myself, but others to achieve their health and fitness goals.

I want to review to you an extremely valuable DVD and tool called Kettlebells from the Ground Up 2-Advanced Corrections.  This DVD was performed by Brett Jones, Dr. Mark Cheng, and Jeff O’Connor.  This is a step in the progression from the Kalos Sthenos 1 DVD set performed by Brett Jones and Gray Cook.

In the Kalos Sthenos 1 DVD and video progression, in my mind, it went on the progression of using the Turkish Get Up as a very valuable evaluation tool toward asymmetry and how to work on each specific step of the Turkish Get Up towards the goal of fluidity and balance.  Also included in the KS1 DVD are very valuable information and drills that I have personally seen do wonders for Shoulder Mobility & Stability as well as Rotary Stability.  It is a great way to use kettlebells to help clean up movement patterns.

The Kalos Sthenos 2 DVD takes the Turkish Get Up to another level.  It very nicely reviews the Turkish Get Up and involves some more progressions to help open up the shoulder (mobility).  What is the gem of the KS2 DVD is the Active Straight Leg Raise progressions/Hip Mobility drills.  These set drills do a fantastic job of working on the FMS Active Straight Leg Raise and Rotary Stability movements.

The small drills alone I have seen with my own eyes do wonders on improving hip mobility, ankle mobility, as well as making a huge impact on clients ASLR and RS scores.  Plus it is a type of Reactive Neuromuscular Training needed to help improvements to stick.

In my professional recommendation, I HIGHLY suggest that you purchase this video as it will do wonders for your patients and clients with kettlebell experience.  The drills in here can be done in a personal training format, in a class/team type setting as a warm up/cool down or FMS break, and also as something that the client or patient can be sent home with to do daily if they have kettlebells at home. It will make a DIRECT impact on your clients and how efficiently they move.

Right now you can purchase your own copy at Perform Better.



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Hello everyone.  Hope all of you are doing very well out there.

Today I am providing my product review for the DVD of Applying the FMS Model by Gray Cook.  Nikki and I were fortunate to experience this workshop first hand at the Chicago Perform Better Summit last summer (2011) as we both were given the honor of providing FMS screens for Brett and Gray during the workshop.

Applying the FMS Model is a great DVD for any individual wanting to learn more about applications of how to use the FMS model in their profession.  The DVD provides the actual workshop itself with its presentation slides and demonstrations of the FMS screen itself as well as analysis of the screen results.

Gray includes vital information on:

  • Understanding what the FMS scores mean for the particular individual
    • Individuals activities/sports/work
    • Limitations/Injury History
    • How to remove negatives
    • Applying proper correctives
    • Programming for that particular individual (provides great examples: weightlifter, runner, kettlebell enthusiast, older individual +50, younger individual -25, and an ex-athlete)

This is some pretty fantastic stuff as this type of material has not yet been covered in any other DVD or Workbook.  This is one of the main reasons why Gray and Brett decided to do the workshop in the first place, to provide a demonstration to interested people and to provide both FMS Certified and Non-FMS Certified individuals an understanding of application.

Here is a breakdown on what you receive:

4-disc DVD set—nearly 4 hours, plus bonus material
Filmed live at a Perform Better Summit Workshop
Disk One
Introduction
Standard Operating Procedures
Movement Matters
Squat Discussion
Stabilization and Repatterning
Our Movement History

Disk Two
Functional Movement Screen Review
Scoring the Screens
Filters and Key Points
Live Screens
Scoring Criteria
Programming the Results

Disk Three
Screen Results Analysis
Order of Screen Priority
Hip Hinge and Deadlift Strategies
Movement Motor Learning
Movement Principles
Self-Limiting Exercise

Disk Four
Extra corrective strategies footage
Full lecture in MP3 audio format for listening in your car or on your portable device
A 61-page typeset transcript of the lecture
Movement Principles excerpt from the Movement book
FMS scoring criteria and verbal instructions
Presentation slides PDF
Video clips from Gray’s Powerpoint presentation
Self-limiting activities chart

On Target Publications did a fantastic job with this DVD.  It includes everything.  The PDF of the presentation slides, charts, scoring criteria and verbal instructions for the FMS, as well as a full MP3 of the lecture so you can listen off of your ipod or even in the car.  LOVE THAT!

In the workshop Gray does a fantastic job of explaining the finer points of why it is important to have a movement screen for any active individual.  These points can be used by the FMS professional towards convincing the importance of using the FMS in many different domains (Examples: sports teams, gyms, bootcamps, risk management for different active careers and etc.)

This DVD and workbook can be used in so many different ways:

  • Provide the Certified FMS Professional a valuable resource tool to enhance their current practice
  • Provide professionals who are interested in getting FMS certified a taste of everything the FMS entails
  • Provides all professionals a tool to present to their superiors, co-workers, and/or potential clients (examples: head coaches, athletic directors, strength coaches, athletic trainers, wellness coordinators, corporate wellness committees and etc.) which gives a vivid explanation of the whole FMS process and its applications and benefits.  Use this in your arsenal when you are trying to establish its importance within your setting.  How nice is it to ask someone to watch this video when they are interested in learning more about the FMS and its benefits?

For more information and to see more of the sample videos click HERE.

Hello everyone.  Wanted to see if I could get the word out to everyone who is interested in learning more about how we use the Functional Movement Screen to enhance our programming and clients success in the group setting.

As many of you may know, we specialize in group kettlebell classes but also include bodyweight exercises, TRX Training, battling ropes and other drills (ALOT of self limiting exercises).

Basically our Foundation here at SG Human Performance (its even in our mission statement) is using the Functional Movement Screen.

FMS provides us the following:

  • Establishes rapport with new and existing clients
  • Determines programming success
  • Boosts Metabolism (YES, hard to believe I know, but its so true)
  • Improves exercise technique
  • Assesses client progress

So I am opening up my blog for ANYONE to ask their questions about how to use the FMS to enhance themselves as a fitness professional and also to enhance their rehabilitation or fitness business.  Please post a comment to this blog with your question and I will do my best to answer it.

If you don’t believe me (or want more information) check into Alwyn Cosgroves “Ultimate Guide to Fat Loss Programming” and how he uses the FMS in his Fat Loss Programming in both Semi Private and Group Training.

Hello everyone, hope you are all doing well and training smart (I know I always say that but I feel it is important to let all of you know that I care).

Today I wanted to present to you a CK-FMS Success Story that we achieved just recently.  This individual contacted me after meeting me at CK-FMS and asked if I would be interested in providing him coaching and programming to improve his FMS score, get him out of pain and help him achieve some of his goals.  The only problem was is he lives about 6 hours away and is unable to come at all for an FMS screen and visits to work on his programming.

At first I was going to turn him down and have him see someone locally, but since he is the only CK-FMS of his kind where he was there were no other options, plus I was assured by Master RKC, Brett Jones that this type of program can and will work if you use the Functional Movement Screen as your foundation for programming.  So I took on the task of improving this person’s FMS.

Let me provide you a little background information on Corey (in his own words).

“I met Mark Snow at the CK-FMS in May of 2011. At the time I has just pulled out of the RKC Level  II workshop and into the CK-FMS because I was experiencing pain from my workouts. I have a “nice healthy” case of scoliosis, and my overhead pressing was causing low back pain and numbness down my leg. After bombing my FMS (scoring an 11 at CK-FMS), and struggling with daily activities I decided only a fool trains himself.  I asked Mark for help with a goal of moving better, feeling better, living pain free and a completion of the USSS snatch test.”

So we have established some goals below (this is the destination in our journey).

Goals:
•    Pain Free
•    Achieve Secret Service Snatch Test of 200 snatches in 10 minutes
•    Become efficient in all Level 2 skills (pain free)
•    Improve and stay technically sound in Level 1 skills (pain free)

Next we needed to determine where we are currently at in our program (our starting point in our journey).

I had him video his FMS screen and send it to me to score.  Its not that I didn’t think he would score his FMS well but I have seen a tendancy for individuals to pad their score a little by accident.

Here was his FMS score Day 1:

The good news is that he has already improved 2 points since CK-FMS by working on his lowest score at that time (Active Straight Leg Raise) this also improved his Rotary Stability from 1/1 to 2/2.

First step in developing the program is to remove the negatives.  I asked Corey to provide me with a list of exercises/workouts that he is doing for 3 days and send it too me.  Basically, Corey was doing A LOT of loaded upper body pushing activities and not enough upper body pulling activities.  I wanted to take pressing, snatching and squatting off the table for a little while since they all were established at red lights in my mind.

So here was our first plan of action:

So with all of this knowledge in our corner I devised a workout plan (built the map).  Please remember that I instructed Corey to constantly follow up with me and let me know how the workouts are going and to keep checking the baseline to make sure we are staying on track.  Once the map has been built there doesn’t mean that we can’t take any detours and have to revise the map now and again.

We kept in contact and once Corey was able to complete the program (4 completed weeks of workouts) we rechecked vital FMS scores to make sure we were on track.  Then I would revise our plan of action and from there establish the program for the the next 4 weeks.

I am very pleased to state that, for 4 months of training, Corey stayed the course and trusted the program and did not try to add anything additional to the program.  He sent me every video that I asked for as I wanted to make sure the program was doing what it was designed to do.  Here are his words on what he has accomplished throughout this time.

“It’s important to me that I see tangible improvement on paper. Keeping that in mind, my FMS score has improved to a 17.  My get up has gone from a 32k max to an easy 40k max (I don’t have a heavier bell or I’d try it).  My bottoms up clean and press is now an easy 24k. Intrestingly enough, I’m up 3lbs but down 2% bodyfat.  And as far as nontangibles, I don’t hurt all the time now.   My low back pain has subsided.   The leg numbness is gone. And as a father… I can play with my 7 year old son pain free!

“I need to say that everyone needs a coach.   In my area I was the only RKC (pending Ck-FMS) and as a result I get a ton of questions about training programs.   Dan John says: “”only the fool trains himself””, and for me that was spot on accurate.   I need someone like Mark Snow to give me a path.   That way I don’t think for myself and screw up.   I needed an outside view and a professional application of the FMS to fix me and help me achieve the goals I have set for myself.   As an RKC… I expect and demand a lot from myself, but Coach Snow provides a brilliant map.  Without his Yoda-like skills, I’d still be hurting and nowhere near where I am.   Mark is a perfect example of what it means to be a part of the RKC community.   Thanks Coach!

So there you have it.  Determine you starting point, determine your destination, draw the map, and continue to re-evaluate the map and your baseline to see if you are going in the right direction.  Even long distance, a lot of fantastic things can happen if you use the FMS as your baseline and re-evaluation tool.

You have had enough.  You are tired of looking at what you see in the mirror everyday.  You want to lose fat and you want the body that you have always dreamed of.  You are now even more determined to achieve your fitness goals.  You will make it happen this time even after failed attempts.  This time is different.

BUT, Before you go out and buy the program, before you buy the DVD’s that are all the rage, before you make the financial investment into the equipment, gym membership, personal training sessions, bootcamp classes, and/or supplements you need to do one simple thing.

That is ASSESS YOUR FOUNDATION.  Any house that has been built to last the test of time has a solid foundation.  So why not do that with your body as well?  If your body does not have a solid foundation (as Gray Cook says) no matter what type of fitness you put on top of it, you are putting fitness on top of dysfunction.  This is not the correct way to start to achieve your goals.  In fact, it may be the reason that you are not achieving your goals.

Assess your foundation before you "Bring It"

What type of FOUNDATION am I speaking about?  Your MOVEMENT FOUNDATION which can also be described as your quality of movement.

PROBLEMS THAT ARISE FROM STARTING A FITNESS PROGRAM ON A POOR MOVEMENT FOUNDATION

  1. Poor Metabolism = Moving poorly restricts your metabolism.  You are not getting the most out of your body when you exercise and also as you go about your everyday activities.
  2. Injury = Would you drive a sports car at 100 mph when the car’s alignment is all out of whack?  It’s not a matter of IF but WHEN that car will break down.  And if you are driving that car at a very fast speed not only will the car break down sooner but bad things can occur very quickly!  The same goes for someone exercising with a poor movement foundation.
  3. Efficiency = Think of it this way.  If you move poorly or less than optimal, when you perform exercises you are not getting the most out of your body.  The less that you get out of your body then you are restricting your workouts and not getting the calorie burn you would optimally love.  The better you move = THE MORE YOU BURN!

Before you go "INSANE", make sure you understand how well your body moves.

So how do you assess your Movement Foundation?  You have a few choices.

  1. You go get a Functional Movement Screen from a certified professional.  This is the cream of the crop on movement quality.  They can assess your foundation and provide you with exercises to make your foundation strong.  Once you achieve a proper score with no imbalances then you are free to workout any way you wish, just keep rechecking your movement after finishing or beginning a program.
  2. You can perform an at home SELF MOVEMENT SCREEN.  The screen is easy to set up and perform without having to purchase any equipment (all you really need is a broomstick, tape of some kind, and a doorway).  All the instructions are below in the video provided.

Here at SG Human Performance we understand the importance of having a solid Movement Foundation and how providing you with the FMS screen and exercises to help to build this foundation this will ultimately help you to achieve your fat loss goals.  If you are interested in getting an FMS screen and/or would like to learn more about our training programs and group classes VISIT OUR WEBSITE HERE.

If you do not feel you need any help then put your money where your mouth is and perform the Self Movement Screen to make sure your foundation is rock solid.  If you pass all the tests, then fantastic!  Go after your goals and we hope that you achieve them.  If you fail any of the tests then you need to either check out an Functional Movement Professional (FMS/SFMA) or check out the book Athletic Body in Balance.

Terrific post by one of my mentors, Dr. Mark Cheng. Really helps to explain what the FMS and RKC systems are applying to help improve individuals imbalances, asymmetries and pain.

Hello again everyone! It has been a terrific September as an offical RKC instructor. I have to say I have been able to apply all that I have learned at the RKC Instructor Certification Course everyday with my clients as well as my physical therapy patients.
As I promised, I am writing a 2nd installment to the Iron Tamer Clan Post from last week. This week I am giving props to the instructors and others who helped us to prepare for our success at the RKC.

David Whitley, Senior RKC
It all began when I returned from a Functional Movement Screen Seminar where one of the presenters (Gray Cook, PT, RKC) introduced me to some kettlebell exercises. I was very interested and ended up finding out that David (aka the IRONTAMER) held classes in Nashville and is also FMS certified (CK-FMS). For the next month I was blown away by how much he knew about movements and how the kettlebell itself can be used as a tool to work on mobility and stability at the same time. On my first day of Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp I performed turkish get ups and could not believe how much I was working on mobility of my joints as well as stability of my joints with one exercise! I decided to give 4 weeks of my bootcamp workouts and retest my FMS score. Note I did not do any other corrective exercises other than bootcamp. My FMS score went from a 15 to an 18! My wife went from a 14 to an 18 in the same time and can now do a very good push up.

After 3 months of bootcamp and about 20 pounds of fat loss later I was hooked. Nikki and I proceeded to let the Irontamer know that Iwe were interested in training for the RKC Instructor Certification Course. He told me that he would be happy to train Nikki and I and that we should continue to come to bootcamp to prepare. And boy did we prepare! David was tough on us but in a very good way. He knew what the RKC cert was like and was preparing us for the grueling days that would be the RKC. He did not sugar coat things. We heard things like “quit your whining and swing!” and “if your clean is like that at the end of RKC you WILL fail the course”. It was exactly what we needed to hear. He motivated us very well.
I owe David everything. He introduced me to kettlebell training and what the RKC is about. He reiterated that the RKC is not just about the kettlebell, the kettlebell is only a tool. Its the movements and the concept behind the RKC that makes it so successful. Thanks to his knowledge and teaching, I am a much better Certified Athletic Trainer and FMS specialist at correcting movement imbalances. Thanks David! I will always introduce myself as being a decendent of the Iron Tamer Clan and you as my mentor.

Matt McBryde
Matt just received his RKC instructor certification last year (2008). We met Matt as he was one of David’s instructors that covers his class when David is out of town. Matt is a terrific instructor from the very first day we met him. He put his own spin on class but the RKC techniques were always the foundation. Matt was gracious enough to come to our RKC prep days at 6am to help us with technique and also gave us some killer workouts, including the VO2 Max protocol from the Viking Warrior Conditioning. The VO2 practice we had with him very much helped us at RKC to improve on our snatch technique but also to prepare us for the grueling workouts. Matt now currently owns and runs Tennessee Kettlebell Bootcamp along with his cool wife, Kristen (the Hardstyle Diva part of the Irontamer Clan!) in Franklin, TN. Thank you for all your wisdom, Matt. Not only did I learn so much from you but I also gained 2 friends. I know that Kristen and yourself did not have to drive 20 minutes every Saturday to come train with us, but you did for the sake of helping us become as prepared as we could be. I will never forget your generosity.

Dennis Breckey
Dennis is the first RKC that we met in Nashville after working with the IronTamer and he also subbed for David from time to time. He teaches a very structured class and gave a different point of view with corrections and cues on our technique. Dennis was also showed up to almost every Saturday morning RKC prep class. He had nothing to gain from coming. He did not have anyone close to him prepping like Matt did. He just came to help us out. I was truly blown away that he would come so early in the am to come help us out. Dennis is currently working on his Z Health certification and when Nikki spoke to him about her tricep issues, he made the time to research and ask other Z health professionals about what drills would work best to alleviate her problems. Dennis is just a whole lot of awesome in my book.
I would also like to give a quick shout out to some other important people who played a role in our RKC certification. Mandy (with a Y not an I) Whitley is a wonderful friend of ours who let us borrow her husband on many accounts to have him work with us. She was the first person I saw when I passed my snatch test and she was jumping up and down in excitement. She put up with our Vibram Stank in the hotel room for 3 days. And was there to give me updates on who all passed since I was the last one. She made the whole process fun and well worth it.
I would like to thank Gray Cook for steering me in the correct direction of the RKC. Also to Brett Jones for all of his articles and information who has helped me out. Brett and Gray have a terrific DVD series “the secrets” and “Kalos Sthenos” which provides important corrective exercises to help improve on asymmetries in your body. I would like to say that thanks to them I am a better informed and prepared RKC and athletic trainer.


Everyone has something that they need to address when it comes to imbalances within their body. The important thing to know is that you have to except the fact that you have a limitation and that you address that limitation on a daily basis. Some days might take more time than others to workout those limitations, some days you might only work on cleaning up that limitation and nothing else.

This is fine, actually I believe that Brett Jones, Master RKC and Gray Cook, RKC would agree with me on the fact that if you don’t improve on your limitations then you should not be working out. “If you don’t have time to perform your prep work, then you don’t have time to workout” (Brett Jones)

This means taking 5-15 minutes in the beginning of your workout and addressing this issue that you need to fix. For example, if you ever check out Brett Jones’ Applied Strength blog (he posts his workouts on there) he ALWAYS has some type of prep work to address his limitations. Whether it be Z health work, ASLR work, brettzels, you name it he is working on addressing any limitations he may have before he even picks up a heavy kettlebell. This means not only a safer workout, but a more productive workout as well.

As for another example I will use myself. On the FMS my lowest score has been on the shoulder mobility test. Through time and the discovery of the RKC system I have improved on this imbalance. But, I continually must make an effort to address my thoracic and shoulder mobility to make sure that I am in balance before I workout or there is a good chance that I will fall back into my old patterns and return to a lower score on the shoulder mobility.

I have two very strong ladies in my Injury Prevention & Human Performance program who begin every workout that they perform addressing these limitations. One has a knee mobility issue from a previous injury/surgery and the other addresses her shoulder/thoracic mobility on a daily basis. They always make time to address these corrections first and foremost.
Not sure what your limitation is? Find a FMS specialist or a CK-FMS specialist and get screened, then let them work with your on addressing your limitations.


Everyone has something that they need to address when it comes to imbalances within their body. The important thing to know is that you have to except the fact that you have a limitation and that you address that limitation on a daily basis. Some days might take more time than others to workout those limitations, some days you might only work on cleaning up that limitation and nothing else.

This is fine, actually I believe that Brett Jones, Master RKC and Gray Cook, RKC would agree with me on the fact that if you don’t improve on your limitations then you should not be working out. “If you don’t have time to perform your prep work, then you don’t have time to workout” (Brett Jones)

This means taking 5-15 minutes in the beginning of your workout and addressing this issue that you need to fix. For example, if you ever check out Brett Jones’ Applied Strength blog (he posts his workouts on there) he ALWAYS has some type of prep work to address his limitations. Whether it be Z health work, ASLR work, brettzels, you name it he is working on addressing any limitations he may have before he even picks up a heavy kettlebell. This means not only a safer workout, but a more productive workout as well.

As for another example I will use myself. On the FMS my lowest score has been on the shoulder mobility test. Through time and the discovery of the RKC system I have improved on this imbalance. But, I continually must make an effort to address my thoracic and shoulder mobility to make sure that I am in balance before I workout or there is a good chance that I will fall back into my old patterns and return to a lower score on the shoulder mobility.

I have two very strong ladies in my Injury Prevention & Human Performance program who begin every workout that they perform addressing these limitations. One has a knee mobility issue from a previous injury/surgery and the other addresses her shoulder/thoracic mobility on a daily basis. They always make time to address these corrections first and foremost.
Not sure what your limitation is? Find a FMS specialist or a CK-FMS specialist and get screened, then let them work with your on addressing your limitations.

Dr. Cheng is a brillant man who understands movement extremely well. He uses Hardstyle methods along with kettlebells to rehabilitate is patients injuries. Terrific post!

http://kettlebellslosangeles.blogspot.com/2009/06/reactive-neuromuscular-training-reverse.html