If I could change the names of any of the tests in the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), it would most certainly be the Deep Squat, the In-Line Lunge and the Trunk Stability Push-Up.
What do those 3 names all have in common? They are also connected to popular gym exercises, so much debate, misinterpretation and confusion comes out how we look at these movements. Hopefully this will help clarify things:
1. Testing and Training are NOT the same thing. The goal of a test is to gain a baseline for current capabilities. From that feedback, you can see how you may need to modify, progress or possibly even avoid certain exercises for an individual. The test could look at Movement Competency, like it is done in the FMS ,or it can also be a measure of Movement Capacity, which could be a marker for strength (Max lift), or muscular endurance (Reps to failure) as an example.
2. The rules are different for Tests than they are for Training. In order for the test to be reliable and objective, certain standards must be set to account for set up, proper execution and grading. If testing the squat, one of the key cues in the set up is to have the feet at shoulder width and pointing straight ahead. Is this necessarily how I would load the squat as an exercise? Probably not. If you were to argue that there should be some turn out of the feet, you would be correct – for an exercise. As a test though, how do we determine how much to turn out the feet and make that reproducible from test to test and tester to tester?
3. If you can’t do the test, you shouldn’t do the exercise. This would seem to make sense, but there is a thought process among some coaches that you can correct some of these poor movements with good cueing and coaching. Sometimes this may be the case, but more often than not, there are underlying mobility and/or motor control restrictions that are driving the issue that can’t be “coached” away.