The FMS Hurdle Step

by Grayson Elmore, PhD, ATC, CSCS
Personal Training Quarterly January 2024
Vol 10, Issue 3


The second in a planned series to review essential considerations of each Functional Movement Screen (FMS) pattern, this article will examine the FMS hurdle step pattern in finer detail.

The Functional Movement Screen™ (FMS™) is a common movement screen used in various performance and rehabilitation settings (9). Conceptually, the FMS is comprised of four fundamental movement patterns (active straight-leg raise, shoulder mobility screen, rotary stability, and trunk stability push-up) that assess basic mobility and motor control characteristics and three functional patterns (inline lunge, hurdle step, and overhead deep squat) that require a complimentary blend of mobility and motor control to perform optimally. In total, all seven patterns from the FMS offer personal trainers a quick screen that can provide insight into their client’s strengths and suggest areas of improvement with movement patterns that reflect common strength training exercises (e.g., single-leg step-up) (1). Specifically, FMS results can help the personal trainer determine the direction of the client’s training program. If a client has pain with basic movement patterns, a referral to a healthcare provider would be recommended (1). A central theme of FMS research has been the ability of the movement screen to predict injury via the overall composite score calculation (7). A common conclusion found in FMS research is the limited ability of the FMS composite score to predict injury/athletic performance, which raises questions about the need for a focus on the individual movement patterns of the FMS and movement asymmetries, as compared to a global focus on the composite score (7,9). Specifically, a current limitation in the present FMS research is a more intimate exploration of each individual pattern and the unique screening and corrective exercise integration decisions relevant to the personal training industry. Therefore, this article is the second in a planned series to review essential considerations of each FMS pattern. This article will examine the FMS hurdle step (HS) pattern in greater detail to help personal trainers with minimal FMS experience better understand the pattern, consistently identify movement compensations, and effectively integrate HS corrective exercises into their current training programs.

This article originally appeared in Personal Training Quarterly (PTQ)—a quarterly publication for NSCA Members designed specifically for the personal trainer. Discover easy-to-read, research-based articles that take your training knowledge further with Nutrition, Programming, and Personal Business Development columns in each quarterly, electronic issue. Read more articles from PTQ »

Related Reading



  1. Cook, G, Burton, L, Hoogenboom, BJ, and Voight, M. Functional Movement Screening: The use of fundamental movements as an assessment of function – Part 1. The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 9(3): 396-409, 2014.
  2. Cook, G, Burton, L, Hoogenboom, BJ, and Voight, M. Functional Movement Screening: The use of fundamental movements as an assessment of function – Part 2. The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 9(4): 549-563, 2014.
  3. Elmore, G. The FMS™ active straight-leg raise – Screening and corrective exercise considerations for personal trainers with minimal FMS™ experience Personal Training Quarterly 9(3): 12-16, 2022.
  4. Fong, CM, Blackburn, JT, Norcross, MF, McGrath, M, and Padua, DA. Ankle-dorsiflexion range of motion and landing biomechanics. Journal of Athletic Training 46(1): 5-10, 2011.
  5. Gourlay, J, Bullock, G, Weaver, A, Matsel, K, Kiesel, K, and Plisky, P. The reliability and criterion validity of a novel dorsiflexion range of motion screen. Athletic Training and Sports Health Care 12(1): 1-5, 2019.
  6. Huang, J, Zhong, M, and Wang, J. Effects of exercise-based interventions on functional movement capability in untrained populations: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19: 1-16, 2022.
  7. Kraus, K, Schutz, E, Taylor, WR, and Doyscher, R. Efficacy of the Functional Movement Screen: A review. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 28(12): 3571-3584, 2014.
  8. Van Dieen, JH, van Leeuwen, M, and Faber, GS. Learning to balance on one leg: Motor strategy and sensory weighting. Journal of Neurophysiology 114(5): 2967-2982, 2015.
  9. Warren, M, Lininger, MR, Chimera, NJ, and Smith, CA. Utility of FMS to understand injury incidence in sports: Current perspectives. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine 9: 171-182, 2018.
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Grayson Elmore, CSCS

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Grayson Elmore is an Assistant Professor of Health and Human Performance at Austin Peay State University. Elmore teaches strength and conditioning and ...

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