FMS After Quick 2s

This question below brings up the topic of what to do/where to go after you clearly have symmetrical 2’s after some kind of quick intervention.  This reader’s case is a little cloudy with the positive active impingement, but it still allows for some principles for when there is a fork in the road.

…….client with Shoulder Mobility R0 – L1, Active Straight Leg Raise R1 – L1, Rotary Stability R1 – L 1, cleared
……..after SMR through upper extremities, Shoulder Mobility is 2/2, cleared

Do I still add in Shoulder Mobility correctives in order to get this to stick or since the SMR gets him 2/2 pain free, can I train him in overhead patterns?
Or do I instead focus my correctives on ASLR and RST?

Now go and reread that in Astro's voice.  Yes, Astro from the Jetsons.

Now go and reread that in Astro’s voice. Yes, Astro from the Jetsons.

As I’m sure others do, this style of question comes up quite a bit.  The style of the question is “Am I allowed to do this,” or “CAN I do this?”
The bottom line, which I have learned in about 9 years of varying levels of use and exposure to the Functional Movement System, you can ALWAYS do whatever you want, however you want, whenever you want.  All you should do, not even have to, is audit the intervention to see if you progressed towards your goal.
It is simply a test-retest for anything that is goaled to change pain, chain movement, or make a monster.
This doesn’t give anyone the leeway to be haphazard or swimming out of your lane, but if you can prove that someone changed against the clear standards of the FMS and SFMA, who am I or anybody to say it didn’t change?

We all have different skill sets that create the appearance of magic or skipping steps, and those adds in to how one may use the FMS and SFMA, but the skill set should be 100% equal and perfect is scoring the Screen and grading the SFMA perfectly.

If it changes movement, and it sticks, you did it the right way.

If it changes movement, and it sticks, you did it the right way.

Now on to this particular case.

By the book, this is an FMS question with an SFMA answer.  I insist that you ask the question that if you are not a health-care provider, what do you do if foam rolling made the shoulders worse?  What if you did not get a quick response with foam rolling the lats, and then 6 weeks later of foam rolling still gets you 1’s and pain?  And then your client quits on you because your mad scientist, trying to be a Physical Therapist approach didn’t work.
If I knew the trainer wasn’t this mad scientist, and they asked me about this case, I would honestly say yeah, try the foam roll, don’t do any exercise, and if it changes immediately, run with it.  But I would never say this to a random trainer where I didn’t know their skill set.
Under no terms would I ever suggest anyone trying to exercise a shoulder into pain under the name of stabilization or corrective exercise, health care professional or not.

All of that being said, you can argue that following the FMS-sponsored weakest link algorithm and addressing the ASLR first probably would have worked.
It is not unreasonable that improving that pattern released tone in the lats through any number of mechanical or neuromuscular connections.

There's still rules.  What if you try your best, and you make them worse?

There’s still rules. What if you try your best, and you make them worse?

But the biggest answer still is not immediately where do you go after the shoulders are cleared and pain-free.
The biggest answer is how did they look after the training session, or what did they look like after you saw them again.
How did they recover from your coaching?  How did they adapt from a motor control standpoint?  Are they still a pain-free 2?

To that end, I would not go directly to overhead pressing until I’ve spent some time nailing down the 2s to the point where they walk in the door, and the shoulders are 2s.
How much time?  That depends on where I chose to land first.  And that first landing strip for a regression from big pressing, which is always where I want to go with every single person, is where 1) whatever their limitation was apparent to the individual, and 2) I believed that it would bring me closer to a more terminal option like pressing.
How long this takes is based on how well they respond.
What I choose is my algorithm, but that’s based on my skill set and logistics.  We get caught up in, “Just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it,” but I don’t think it works that way.  There is a System with principles that we can follow identically and land where we land.  Some get to travel faster.  Others slower.

IF, and that’s a big IF, that the individual’s barrier was most exposed AND continues stabilization of that unresisted pattern of Shoulder Mobility, then you land there.
But I wouldn’t bank on that being that case that someone that had shoulder pain and poor movement, foam rolled, and then pressing is a really a great move in the span of a few minutes or even an entire training session.
You have a much better chance to be static overhead with some kind of walking technique, but not pressing.


The Getup is a good idea to clear shoulder stability before attacking shoulder strength and power.

The Getup is a good idea to clear shoulder stability before attacking shoulder strength and power.  Doing the Getup like Dr. Mark Cheng is also quite a good idea.

The schematic of where you can land with some examples

Soft Tissue — tennis ball stuff, foam roll, manual therapy
{I would do this all the time anyway pre-training leading into some lower intensity warmup before higher intensity warmup.  In this case of why it’s proposed here is because it is the right regression for the individual to experience the barrier and then move away from it.  Foam roll as part of a movement prep and foam roll as part of a regression-progression training module are different things in my mind}
Passive Mobility – partner stretch like an arm pull rib mobilizations
Self Mobility – rib roll, quadruped t-spine, Brettzels
Patterning – Shoulder Packing, Turkish Getup Regressions
Static Stability – SLDL, Farmer’s Walk, OH Walk, 90/90 BU KB Walk
Dynamic Stability – Kneeling Press Variations, Bottoms Up KB Press
Fitness – Push Press

Shoulders specifically have the whole non-provocative to provocative progressions as well.

  • July 5, 2013

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