Strength: noun. the ability to overcome.

Does FMS Methodology REALLY Work?

by GEOFFN on February 11

Ok, I’ve been off the grid primarily for two reasons – updating websites and I’ve been exploring a lot of FMS (Functional Movement Systems) / CK-FMS methodologies.

Now that’s probably a pretty strange statement considering I started this blog 4 years ago to write about my Z-Health experience.

There is A LOT of controversy within the fitness community, especially the RKC, as to which is the better system – Z or FMS.

“Now hold it right there – they aren’t competition!” I can hear some of my colleagues say. To which I say, “Don’t kid yourself.” They’re both chasing after primarily the same market share. And if they weren’t competitors, they’d join forces and conquer the world together. But that’s neither here nor there.

What you should be asking is how come a guy like me who was so outspoken about the benefits of Z now messing around with another system?

The answer I think should be obvious. I want to learn more. There’s a lot of “Z-Snobbery” going on even still and I admit, I fell prey to it. The idea is that Z-Health is far superior to anything in the fitness world, even the world of medicine, for eliminating pain, correcting movement dysfunction, and improving performance. A lot of us involved in Z projected or still project this attitude. I for one did and I was wrong to do so. (Thankfully for me, I have a lot of good friends who tolerated me at the time.) It blinded me to opportunity and stunted my personal and professional growth.

A couple of months ago, I flew to Pittsburgh to visit my good friend, Brett Jones to have him evaluate my hip, since it was bothering me and it pretty much shut down (again). Honestly, I was tired of trying to find the right Z drill to fix the damn thing. Brett has a great handle on FMS and a good handle on Z (Level 3 trainer). I wanted to see what I was missing.

The answer turned out to be stability. Yup, that stuff that isn’t supposed to exist in many people’s worlds now. I thought the same until my weekend with Brett. Well, it turns out that I had done so much mobility work I had literally stripped away my compensations (which were my strengths) and was left with my weaknesses exposed. So, I had a choice – strengthen my weaknesses and get really strong again, or, well, ok, I guess I really didn’t have a choice. What was I supposed to do?

So I started playing around – nope – that’s not the right terminology – how about viciously applying the FMS drills that Brett gave me. I called up Jeff O’Connor and he sent me some of his “redneck ninja” magical stuff to work on, and I created my own drills based on some of Brett’s work. (By the way, if you ever have a chance to go to a Jeff O’Connor or Brett Jones workshop – run don’t walk to it! Their in depth knowledge about how your body works is truly astounding!)

The results have been spectacular.

I can honestly say I am completely pain free and feel, for lack of a better phrase – “Put together.” I am starting to feel really strong again. And I have finally, finally, fixed my right knee after 20 years of dysfunctional movement. That puppy is actually working again 99% of the time.

So, after being one of those guys who said the FMS stuff didn’t work nearly as well as Z, this blog post is my public recantation. FMS works very well. You have to understand a few things first:

  1. Basic biomechanics (yes, and some neurology too…)
  2. How the FMS system works.
  3. How to interpret the FMS based on your knowledge of #1. Obviously the more you’ve studied the body the easier this will be for you.

So where does Z-Health fit in to this?

I’m going to leave that for a future post. :-)

Let’s just say both serve their purpose and can be used together, but not how many people probably think they should be used together. I think it’s safe to say that Gray Cook, the developer of the FMS, has WAY too much clinical experience to be ignored, so if you haven’t already, you owe yourself to look into his work. It has over 13 years of documented positive proof.

So, do I have all the answers? Nope. Still working on ‘em. But I’ll keep you posted on what I discover. But I can tell you this for sure: If you need to identify and correct a weakness, I think the FMS / CK-FMS is a darn good way to go. It’s been working for me great so far. Am I willing to put my money where my mouth is? You bet. Both my wife and I are going to the CK-FMS in October and I’m sending her to the FMS/SFMA in April.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Sorry I didn’t get it to you sooner. And I promise, there’s more on this topic to come…

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