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The Importance of Implementing the FMS Among High School Athletes

The Importance of Implementing the FMS Among High School Athletes

The-Importance-of-Implementing-the-FMS-Among-High-School-AthletesThe video above shows how useful the FMS (Functional Movement Systems) is to Hargrave Military Academy that finds it handy in directing the training and rehab of their athletes. For more than 10 years, Hargrave has produced 100 Division 1 scholarship athletes, and this is enough to earn it a place in the country’s most successful programs. According to FMS’s Don Reagan of Mountain River PT, working with Hargrave has given him a chance to see how Hargrave evaluate their movement, and this has helped him become more proactive with his training and treatment than never before.

In the video, he says how the tools within FMS have given him the opportunity to be more than a rehab/mediation professional. In other words, he has also become a performance and optimization professional. Reagan and colleagues do screening at the beginning of the year and also monitor athletes’ movement quality. Well, with this information, Reagan and colleagues help athletes manage their movement before they can get injured.

Junior high and high school athletes have significant differences between chronological age and biological age; thus, strength coaches find them the most challenging populations to work with. Although two athletes can have the same age, they greatly vary when it comes to training experience, physical development, and movement literacy.

Moreover, a cookie-cutter and prehab program cannot be used for every athlete, as it is inefficient and potentially dangerous.

These thoughts were echoed by Peter Kafaf, an FMS certified trainer and football coach who has had the opportunity to work with some of the country’s best linemen like Rashan Gray, former no.1 prospect and current Michigan freshman.

According to Kafaf, when he first met Gray, he was not even close to being the athlete who would mature into the recruiting prize of the 2016 class. He goes on to explain how Gray could not move, as his hips were tight as a drum and he scored once with both of his hips. Despite these challenges, Gray was determined and hardworking. Soon he was able to improve his limitations and he even became faster as well as more explosive. He even had his 40-yard dash time drop by 0.20 (4.94 – 4.74). Today, Rashan Gray has an amazingly fluid movement.

Just like the body of any kid I’ve ever worked with, so was Rashan’s body; very tight like frozen chicken legs, says Kafaf. Today, his hands are incredibly fast, as opposed to the first time when I met him, he continues.

Despite becoming a game-breaking athlete on the football without the FMS, Gray understood how this system works and this helped him direct his training both on and off the football field.

Kafaf first came to terms with FMS through a trainer who used to work with his then eighth-grade son. His son had movement problems and this greatly hindered his ability to train. Specific areas such as the hip and thoracic spine suffered from poor mobility, which is very common among teenage athletes. And with poor mobility, lower back pain started to set in, and this made it almost impossible to participate in any game. Kafaf was hooked, when the trainer demonstrated how improving his son’s movement in key areas could help eliminate strain on his shoulders and lower back. My son would’ve have quit sports were it not for FMS, says Kafaf. The program helped him to start moving better and this enabled him to get into rugby where he now has the opportunity to compete in college, he continued.

It seems like out of 10 kids, 9 have some level of improvement, which they can make in their hips. And that is a real problem since more than a few sports and exercise in the weight room mainly need athletes to have good mobility in the hips. If kids lack good mobility in the hips, then they are at risk of injury.

Kafaf is 100-percent sure that one of the most dangerous places you can send your unscreened child is a high school weight room. Despite being an effective technique for reducing injury risk among athletes, weight training can do more harm than good, especially if the program is poorly designed, according to health and fitness professionals. Ideally, early studies of injury rates among teenage athletes showed that younger athletes were likely to be injured in the weight room and most of the injuries sustained by this group occurred in unsupervised environment. A young athlete who is properly trained and supervised is likely to have lower injury rates in the weight room than those noted when kids are at play during recess (and a few sports such as cross country, football, and wrestling).

According to Kafaf, improper weight programs have devastating effects on high school kids, and this makes him a staunch supporter of FMS. Despite the majority of kids lacking the mobility and symmetry to squat and deadlift, they are always asked to perform those lifts while in a weight room setting.

The FMS must not be a path to explosiveness and speed, but you can view it as a tool designed for safe speed and explosiveness training. Every year, several college football athletes are screened (including 3 of the more promising linemen in the BIG10). But if many high schools want to benefit, then the best thing to do is to implement the FMS into their athletic programs.

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