Breaking Down the FMS – Active Straight Leg Raise

When you first start using the FMS and the Smart Group Training System a lot of times your not sure which correctives to use to get the best results. We have made that a lot easier by giving you a lot of great ideas in our blogs and products, but we understand that there are a lot of exercises out there, and a lot of different situations that can occur that making picking the perfect corrective exercise a shotgun approach.

Although creating a blog post to make sure you pick the perfect corrective exercise every time is absolutely impossible, there are a few things you can do to make sure to make sure the shotgun approach is more like a sniper riffle.

What a lot of people don’t know about the FMS is that after you find the weakest link in the hierarchy by going through the 7 foundational movements there are ways you can break out that weakest link to get a better idea of what the issue is and how to fix it.

I’ll be covering these breakouts plus a few bonus breakouts of my own that I’ll often use to make sure my corrective exercise selection is as effective as possible in this newest series called Breaking Down the FMS.

Today we start with the Active Straight Leg Raise

If you need a refresher on how to perform and score the active straight leg raise, check out this video below for all the details.

Performing and Scoring the ASLR

Once you get finished with the screen and find out that your client has a dysfunction on the ASLR you can either use your best judgment to pick a progression to fix the pattern or you can break it out and get more specific. These are the breakouts that I use for the ASLR.


Crocodile Breathing Assessment

Passive Straight Leg Raise

Core Engaged Leg Raise

Toe Touch

Based on the results from the breakouts I can now tell if the issue is more of a breathing issue, a mobility issue, or a core stability issue. From there I typically use one to three of the exercises below to get started.

Restorative Breathing Track

Supine Breathing 

3 Month Breathing  

Crocodile Breathing 

Tissue and Mobility Track

Self Myofacial Release (Foam Rolling, stickwork, etc)


Pelvic Tilt 

Core Activation Track

Band Engaged Leg Raise 

Leg Lowering 2 

Cook Hip Lift   


Most of the time I start to see at least some positive change with the exercises listed above. Typically the ASLR will clear within just a few sessions, especially if they are doing their correctives as homework.

One thing that is important to understand is that once you get that leg raise from a 1 to a 2 or 3 you have to lock that change into a more challenging movement pattern with a progression.  Check out the video below to learn some great ways we build the active straight leg raise from the ground up to make sure that the pattern not only clears, but stays cleared.

Build the Pattern

ASLR Red To Green


That’s it! Use these breakouts and correctives to get your clients ASLR cleared and then move on the next pattern or start loading and have fun!

– Steve Long