I’m writing this from Chicago’s O’Hare international airport. I just left Minnesota from the first ever Certified Kettlebell Functional Movement Screening (CK-FMS) workshop. FMS is the brainchild of Gray Cook – physical therapist, strength & conditioning specialist and kettlebell instructor.
Gray has been in the trenches working his system into the highest levels of sport for the last 10 years and has now teamed up with Brett Jones (Master RKC, ATC and CSCS) of Dragon Door to integrate kettlebells into the corrective movement strategies of the screening.
The Functional Movement Screen can be summarized like this: a series of 7 exercises that tests for dysfunctional movement patterns that may be a result of muscular imbalances (mobility, stability or asymmetry) within the body. If you cannot do any of the 7 movements without pain, it is recommended that you see a doctor, chiro, physical therapist or other health care professional as medical attention may be required. Otherwise, individuals are graded on a scale of 1-3 and depending on their scores, corrective movement exercises are prescribed to help restore proper mechanics within the body. The test was created to assist in communication between coaches, personal trainers, athletic trainers and physical therapists
Hold that thought, my plane is boarding…
I’m back at home now. Before I finish about the CK-FMS cert let me tell you about the Russian cab driver that picked me up from the airport. Guess what we talked about? That’s right, kettlebells. I always ask people if they know about kettlebells but especially Russians. This guy was great! He barely spoke English. He was a former wrestler who migrated from Russia 20 years ago (he’s 62 now) and hadn’t seen a kettlebell since then. So naturally, I invited in my house and showed him my gym at 1 o’clock in the morning. :)
I offered to trade him a small kettlebell for some of the cab fare but he wanted two 12kg bells. I gave him a Hard Style catalog and explained that the price for the two kettlebells was about $150 plus shipping. He chuckled and said “F-ing Americans” in the thickest Russian accent I’ve ever heard and told me he used to be able to buy “girya” (which I learned I had been pronouncing way wrong) for 2 rubles when he was younger.
I bet 20 minute cab rides didn’t cost $65 back then either.
Anyway, Ivan was a cool way to top off my weekend. Back to FMS...
At the strength clinic last month, no fewer than four of the presenters mentioned the work Gray has been doing involving human movement. At least 2 people described him as a “genius” and I can only echo their sentiment. The guy picked up on a shoulder mobility issue I’ve been trying to stretch out for the last couple months and fixed it in about 2 minutes. It was just a matter of activating my trapezius muscle which I was doing on the left but not on the right (hello asymmetrical shoulders). He “fixed” people all weekend with simple little exercises like this. As much as I know about human movement and exercise, it pales in comparison to Mr. Cook. His understanding of anatomy is truly profound.
I’m excited about everything I learned this weekend and I’m anxious to start administering the Functional Movement Screen to my clients. I’m still practicing but I’m already looking at body mechanics and movement patterns differently. This weekend was quite the educational experience for me and I’d recommend FMS training to any trainer, therapist or doctor that deals with musculoskeletal issues.