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Tucson, Arizona 85704

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The Pulse - May 2013

FMS: Make Your Move

By: The BodyBasics Team

Whether you’ve been training at BodyBasics for several years or you just started last week, it’s likely that when you hear “FMS” it rings a bell. You might not remember what exactly it stands for, but what you probably do remember is it’s that thing you had to do on your first day. You know, the one where you had to perform all of those weird movements while either standing on a board or holding a stick overhead. Odds are you were pretty convinced that there was no rhyme or reason to it, but I can promise you there was. The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a useful tool intended to guide our approach as professionals with each individual client’s training plan for several reasons. Let’s explore them together.

For one, the FMS is developed around a ranking and grading system that ultimately generates a score from 0-21 utilizing seven separate movement patterns to do so. Each pattern completed is scored anywhere between 0 – 3. Simply, 0 means you have pain doing the assigned movement. A score of 1 means you are unable to complete it but do not have pain. Achieving a 2 means you can do it with some compensation. And finally, a score of 3 means you can complete the task perfectly. Your score reflects your body’s harmonious blend of balance, mobility, stability, and functional strength. If you are lacking in one of more of these areas, your FMS score will reflect it. The screen essentially slows down the speed of life, allowing us to identify any irregular movements that may be going completely unnoticed by you.

Additionally, the FMS model provides research-based tried and true methods for improving any anomalies in movement quality. The innovators of the FMS, Gray Cook and Lee Burton, put a lot of work into producing easy to replicate methods for addressing dysfunctional movement that you may reveal during your screen. We use these methods, otherwise known as corrective exercises in our small group training as well as our private one on one sessions. Corrective exercises address deficiencies in mobility and stability, two of the cornerstone elements of healthy movement. Balance, speed, strength, and skill can then be built upon that solid foundation.

In order of importance, we always look to improve your mobility before your stability. Let’s explore why this hierarchy is so important. Each of our joints is intended to move through a specific range of motion. If any of these ranges are deficient, you have a greater risk for injury. Chronic stress due to immobility is probably the most common cause of osteoarthritis. It is for this reason, that we routinely administer an active dynamic warm up before group classes and most private sessions. We want to get your joints and muscles prepared to take on the greater challenge of exercise. By addressing joint mobility before a workout, you will note greater freedom of controlled movement during the rest of your exercise session and more ease in doing your day to day activities.

Once mobility is maximized, the focus then expands to include stability. Stability, defined as the ability to return to a desired position or motion after a disturbance, is essential to healthy movement. Without it, all exercise motions pose a potential risk due to an inability to control them safely. Take something as basic as a lat pull-down for example. Unless control is exerted to prevent the shoulders from shrugging upward each time the bar is raised, you could potentially impinge your shoulder, or worse.

We may have been the first to introduce you to the FMS, however; we are not the only professionals that utilize it. Increasingly, doctors, physical therapists and chiropractors also use it along with a diagnostic counterpart of the FMS called the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). The SFMA is designed for medically-licensed professionals who want to implement a movement-based approach when treating pain. You may recall that the FMS can reveal painful movements but as your fitness trainers, we are not qualified to diagnose and treat conditions that may prove medically significant. Instead, if pain is present during your functional movement screen, we refer you to experienced physical therapists that then use their medical knowledge to normalize dysfunctional and painful movements. Once those we refer you to feel that it is safe to exercise; you can confidently resume training with us again.

The FMS and SFMA work together to bridge the gap between trainers and the medical community which ensures a safe and effective exercise plan that is tailored to each individual’s needs. BodyBasics has worked hard to develop relationships with first-rate allied health providers in order to confidently refer our clients to them. We will most often refer clients to ProActive Physical Therapy, Momentum Physical Therapy or Northwest Medical Center Outpatient Physical Therapy. This continuity of care is by far one of the most beneficial byproducts of this cooperative relationship fostered by the Functional Movement System. The FMS has proven to be advantageous with many of our clients, one of whom recently started exercising at BodyBasics. Linda Gilvear began training at the beginning of April 2013 after being referred by her sister Elaine. Elaine has been working out at BodyBasics for almost two years and after seeing the improvements she was experiencing, Linda decided to begin her journey. Her primary goal was to decrease the pain she experienced in her lower back after being on her feet for extended periods of time. That pain was most likely due to the significant curvature of her spine; however, the FMS unveiled some less obvious issues. During the screen, Elaine was made aware of the instabilities in the arches of her feet and her core. Very quickly she began to see that when those two seemingly unrelated issues were addressed via corrective exercise; her low back pain lessened. After just three weeks of training one time per week at BodyBasics, she came in with this testimonial.

“It’s hard to believe that after only three sessions with you, my scoliotic back has much less pain. I can’t say I love doing all the exercises you’ve developed for me but, they are working. Of course, I don’t expect ever to have a straight spine but I do want my shoulders to be of even height, my hips and ankles to have greater stability and to be able to hold myself more naturally erect. It’s to your credit that you have been able to accomplish all this in such a short period of time while also dealing with my two (not one, but two) artificial hips. This has been a real limitation for other professionals with whom I’ve worked but not with you. Thanks for getting my body in better working order. I needed a lot more than just a tune-up; I needed a complete overhaul. I can’t wait to see what miracles you perform in the next couple of months. I like having you on my team”.

Linda’s experience is only one of the many successes our clients experience because we use the FMS as guide to restoring authentic movement patterns. In the future, we plan to continue helping our clients strive towards living a more active and fulfilling life. At BodyBasics our number one goal is to help you to move better, live better and feel better.

Corrective Exercises to Improve Shoulder Mobility

Watch Mike and Mike as they navigate the Functional Movement Screen toward better shoulder mobility.

Strawberry Salad with Roasted Beets and Homemade Balsamic Dressing

Nate Burrous


  • 1 Large Bunch of Beets Roasted
  • ½ an Avocado sliced
  • ¼ cup Walnuts
  • ¼ cup Papitas
  • 4-5 Sliced Strawberries
  • Mixed Salad Greens
  • Fresh Mozzarella cheese


To roast the beets: Peel and slice beets ½” thick. Place in a mixing bowl with 1Tbs of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and some cracked pepper. Toss or mix it up until the beet slices are evenly coated. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil and place beets in the pan. Put another piece of foil over the top and bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes. (If you want to speed the roasting up, you can slice the beets a little thinner.)  While beets are roasting, place a large bed of salad greens into a bowl.


  • ½ an Avocado sliced
  • ¼ cup Walnuts
  • ¼ cup Papitas
  • 4-5 Sliced Strawberries
  • Fresh Mozzarella cheese

Then chop beets into squares and add balsamic dressing.

Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced or pressed
  • 1/4 scant tsp ground mustard
  • 1 T lemon juice

Whisk all the ingredients together. That’s it. Store dressing in a small mason jar in the fridge. It should keep for a couple weeks. Since there are no additives in this, it will solidify in the fridge. Pull it out a few minutes before you use it again. Or just make it as you need it.

Client Spotlight

on Elfriede Sheets

Elfriede Sheets started her training at BodyBasics in May of 2005 after hearing for the umpteenth time from longtime friend and fellow workout buddy, Marge Furash, about her trainer Chris and how much he could help her to move better. “He was my last resort”, she said. It took a horrific thigh cramp to finally convince her to come in. She has never left. Despite numerous obstacles to her health and fitness including lumbar stenosis, bulging discs, a torn rotator cuff, bone on bone knees, peripheral neuropathy, CHD, a pacemaker after surviving a heart attack, and, according to her dentist, a textbook mouth…Elfriede continues to march on, squeezing her buttocks and using her arms all the way.

When asked why she does it Elfriede smiles and talks about how friendly and outgoing fellow clients and staff of BodyBasics are. “They always seem to have the right words to build me up”. Her goals are quite simple, “maintain the status quo with a little bit of plus, or a lot of plus”. Even after the death of her longtime soul mate of 57 years, Calvin, in August of 2012, Elfriede continues to remain consistent to her 2X per week exercise schedule, finding rides from generous neighbors to make it possible.

Elfriede, as your longtime trainer, we have shared many experiences together, some good, others not so much. Thank you for your unwavering dedication to yourself, to me, and to your always evolving exercise program.

Chris, Nick, Maureen, Amelia, Mike, Nate, Amber

Save the date!

Training the Core in 3D Presentation &
Barbecue May 25th at 1:00!

Our first BBQ this year was on April 20th. It was a great time had by all. We enjoyed good food, conversation, and one heck of a water balloon battle! We are asking that this time, you bring a dish and a copy of your recipe. We will assemble them and share them with those who want them in the following weeks after the BBQ.

Also, we will have a presentation by our very own Marge Furash and her long-time trainer Chris Litten. It will be approximately 30 minutes and will start at 1:00 p.m., just before the BBQ. Topic will be a good one for all of us, “Training the Core Muscles in 3D”. Marge and Chris will provide a combination of discussion and hands on exploration of the “go to” exercises they use together.

Look for an e-vite in your inbox in the next week to RSVP.

Introducing an Additional Fitness Fusion Small Group Session at 4:30!

BodyBasics is pleased to announce that we have added a new time to participate in our increasingly popular Fitness Fusion personalized small group sessions. It will be Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays of 4:30 p.m. Up till now, that time had been exclusively offered to teachers at a special rate. We are going to continue to offer the same exclusive rate and invite our teachers to participate in ANY of our small group sessions.

Fitness Fusion is a unique small group because it is the closest thing to personalized training without being one on one. Each exercise is developed to be scaled up or down to fit the needs of each person. We blend together all elements of a fit body, core, balance, flexibility, strength and cardio. Thrive on the energy of a group and have fun too! Everything’s more fun when you bring a friend!

Referral Rewards

We sincerely appreciate the trust that our clients place with us when they refer their friends and families.  Linda Grant referred Richard Martell.  Edrice Ivory referred Marny Wellman, who in turn  referred her husband.  Elaine Gilvear referred her sister Linda.

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