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Why Rotary Stability Is Important In The Functional Movement screening (FMS)

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What Is Rotary Stability and Why Is It So Important?

Rotary Stability is one of the movements involved in the Functional Movement Screening (FMS) system developed by physical therapist, Gray Cook.

Not many of us know about it but we can’t live without it. Well, we could but it would not be nearly as good as when we actually tend to this component of our well-being.

In simplified terms, rotary stability is our ability to control rotational forces during activities such as swinging, kicking, sprinting, striking, and throwing. 

Rotary stability is beneficial when we’re trying to resist rotation through the torso during arm and leg movements. During these movements, stability through the pelvis, shoulder girdle, and core is essential for the extension and flexion that takes place. 

Before we plunge in, let’s clear out a few looming questions you may have:

What Are the Implications of A Low Rotary Stability Score?

  • It could be a result of poor reflex stabilization of the trunk and core 
  • The performance will be affected due to compromised scapular and hip stability 
  • An inability to complete the whole pattern can be attributed to limited hip, knee, spine, and shoulder mobility 

What Is the Clearing Test?

While performing the FMS (Functional Movement Screen), you will perform a flexion-clearing test. This is scored as a + or a - depending on whether you experience pain or not in each respective case. When the results of the test are +. The rotary test is scored at 0 and medical intervention might be necessary.

Now that we have cleared that out. Let’s look at Rotary Stability under the microscope: 

The Three Planes of Stability

The first efficient form of locomotion we experience as humans involve the crawling and creeping patterns in early development and that is the basis of rotary stability and its test.

These patterns reciprocate movements of the arms and legs while climbing, walking, and running. Our development from the point of infancy begins with the sagittal plane, then the frontal plane, and finally the transverse plane.

The sagittal plane encompasses running and hip hinging. The frontal plane is responsible for side-to-side movements and finally, the transverse plane movements involve rotation.

Rotary stability can be equated to what really makes us human. The patterns of locomotion are fundamental in our movements. The pattern is performed in a quadruped position mimicking patterns of early childhood development. In this quadruped position, it is easier to evaluate your hips, spine, core, and shoulders simultaneously.


Why Rotary Stability?

Focusing on rotary stability rather than specific muscles comes with a load of benefits. We train more muscles when focusing on the concept of rotary stability as opposed to let us say training your transverse abdominis, 

While working on one muscle can have a huge impact looking at the wider picture holds much more weight. Training our muscles to work together at a higher level. Which makes the concept of rotary stability more powerful and should be the perfect incentive to incorporate exercises that emphasize this area of our body’s well-being.

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