As a community with a special interest in optimal health and performance, how do we know the right ways of achieving this from the wrong? The good programs from the bad?

We live in the information age where with the strike of a few keys and the click of a mouse can find us everything about anything, but let’s be honest…controversy is thick out there. What we need is honesty and reliability. We need a system of checks and balances that can help us sort through the uncertainty and find some truths.

In walks…the FMS or Functional Movement Screen.

So what is this Functional Movement Screen? The FMS is a tool that we use to grade our movement quality through functional movement patterns within normal ranges of motion. The screen uses several overlapping tests, with built in checks and balances, which demonstrate your ability to manipulate your body with balance, coordination, and agility – or grace and control. By using functional – or applicable, universal, real to everyday life – movements and generally accepted standards of normal joint ranges of motion, it allows us to identify imbalances and physical limitations in our athletes. Furthermore, it offers insight into the nature of these discrepancies – are they issues of mobility restriction or simply the inability to maintain control over ourselves as we move – stabilization?

This system has not made its way into use without being tried and tested. The FMS has been the center of numerous research studies that have validated its reliability. It has been implemented by many professional athletic teams and several national organizations. NFL teams such as the Colts, Seahawks, Falcons, Bills, Bears, Packers, Bangels, Ravens, Jets, Raiders, and 49ers as well as NHL teams, MBL teams, many universities, the Cooper Institute, Fire Departments, multiple US Government organizations, all branches of the US Military and even our very own Secret Service.

Why does that matter to MCF?

Because we are a lifestyle “box” – performance training facility – here at Mahoney CrossFit. We have folks from all walks of life that enter our doors with a common goal of better health and performance.

We aim to improve our members’ quality of life.

The FMS is helping us do that by providing a standardized screen to evaluate each member as an individual. From that functional baseline we are able to ensure member safety by identifying dangerous movement patterns on a personal basis and providing corrective strategies for both that member and the needs of our classes as a whole. Finally, the FMS helps improve our communication with the other allied health professions, increasing our ability to find appropriate referral sites for members with needs outside our scope or capabilities.

The bottom line is that Mahoney CrossFit is about helping our community grow stronger and healthier through safe, effective, and progressive practices and the FMS is just one of the many tools we use to provide our family with the best opportunity to succeed we can offer!


Coach C

For more information concerning the FMS visit:

Recently I came across this article and thought a few of my CrossFit friends might be interested? In working as a Rehab Aide for the past nearly two years, I have seen a few of you in the clinic and/or have heard your stories/concerns. The article demonstrates a commonality among training that is limited in focus, true skill development, and smart planning.

There are some very general, but very real, neuromuscular dysfunctions and injuries that are becoming more and more common in the world of “the sport of fitness” right here in Salem, OR…painful shoulders, hips, knees, alongside Achilles Tendonitis and hamstring pulls.  The big concern, though, is not in that they are present, but that they are not being addressed appropriately.  So then the question is, first and foremost, what is the problem here?  It’s not so much a matter of who is to blame (coaches that lack experience or understanding or trainees that ignore the signs and symptoms of their developing conditions or lack the knowledge or motivation to seek help), it’s more a matter of what to do about it?

If you’re not focusing on identifying and strategically addressing weaknesses, refining your technique and developing an understanding and competency in the required skills of your ‘sport’, then all your hard work and efforts are wasted on beating a dead horse.

A few key points to remember:  1) scaling isn’t always the answer, sometimes you actually need real movement progressions or regressions; 2) Addressing weaknesses doesn’t necessarily mean more volume or repetition, sometimes it means developing joint mobility/stability, increased motor control, muscle activation, or re-patterning and appropriate firing sequence; 3) Developing a skill takes dedicated practice, not just competitive game play…have patience.

So are you slowly deteriorating behind a mask of increased work capacity…or are you truly developing your mind and body into one of the fittest athletes on Earth?

The bottom line is this…find a professional coach or trainer that possesses the knowledge and understanding necessary to help you identify your body’s asymmetries and make real progress…get screened…and get coached!



My first contribution of any ‘real’ information will be on a topic I feel is rather fundamental, if not vital, to any program that involves strength training or athletic performance.  It’s an area that truly defines our evolutionary role as tool, instrument, and weapon wielders…our ability to grip.

The grip can make or break us when it comes to the manipulation of self or objects.  Without a strong and tireless grip our performance, especially in maximal effort bouts, is severely hindered.  Think of that last failed 1RM Deadlift attempt, or perhaps that heavy set of Power Cleans, you made – was it your legs that gave way beneath you or that damn bar slipping free from your chalked up hands?  Perhaps that false grip on the rings eludes you still?  Maybe you’ve considered the possible consequence of a missed apprehension or arrest?  Or likely that weekend-warrior-backyard-home-improvement gig has found you questioning whether or not you have developed a sudden case of carpal tunnel syndrome!

Whatever your poison, spending a few moments from time to time dedicated to improving your grip may be just the anecdote your searching for…here’s a link to an article with a great exploration of the topic and a few tips for getting your supplementary training started:


**Photo courtesy of found at



Hello everyone!  I am excited to announce my new blog.  Here I will be sharing a few of my ideas and thoughts, likes and dislikes, and concerns (or lack thereof).   These will be accompanied by the same from those who I follow or think are important/relevant.  I hope to reach a few people out there and perhaps even spark some interesting conversation and friendships.  Thank you all for visiting my site and following along…