Do You Know Your Baseline?

Knowing your baseline is equivalent to knowing your blood pressure.


When you go to the doctor, they always take your blood pressure.

Why? It establishes a baseline for your health that they test against each time you come in. If that number begins to change, the doctor will probably have a conversation about possible reasons for the change and make adjustments accordingly.

This same reasoning needs to be applied to exercise routines. Yet, very few people establish a baseline before starting an exercise program. Without a roadmap and a baseline to test against, how do you REALLY know if you’re making progress?

The Functional Movement Screen

The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) tests seven different patterns of movement. The purpose of the screen is to see which patterns of movement are at baseline and which fall below it.


If a pattern is at baseline, it means it’s a trainable pattern. A trainable pattern will improve when challenged. However, a pattern that falls below baseline is in need of rehab, and will get worse when challenged.

Does the image below resonate with you?


If it does, you are caught in an endless cycle. Addressing the pattern that is falling below baseline and is in need of rehab may keep you off the bench for good.

Pilates + Functional Movement Screen

I chose to combine the FMS with the Pilates method because a repeating pattern began to emerge amongst my students. Despite their age or fitness level, pain and dysfunctional patterns resolved in some people but not in others. Lack of effort or understanding was also not an issue, so this inconsistency perplexed me.

The Pilates method is incredibly supportive, versatile, and challenging. However, Joe Pilates created his method before the majority of our work days required sitting for long durations.

Even a few decades ago, people were more conditioned. Conditioning allows for the body to more easily receive the benefits from all the exercises in the Pilates method.

Conditioning and being in shape are not one in the same. Think about when you go to Europe…you walk everywhere. Once back home, you realize how much better you feel. You’re stronger and your body just feels better. This is purely from improved conditioning.

A Pilates practice on a well conditioned body yields great results rather quickly. However, if we lack basic conditioning (or are currently experiencing pain or injury), a strategy needs to be created to close those gaps.

The FMS allows me to create strategic lesson plans so that I can utilize the Pilates method with greater efficiency. Additionally, FMS provides me an opportunity to test my work.

I don’t just think I’m getting results, I know I am.