Performing and Scoring the Top Tier SFMA

When it comes to learning everything you can about how a person moves, the SFMA Top Tier is a great place to start.  Performing the entire Top Tier only takes a few minutes and it really gives you a lot of information.  Over the past few years, I’ve been using this in conjunction with the FMS, and it’s really opened my eyes and I’ve started to look at movement a little deeper.


I can knock out the top tier and the entire FMS screen within about 10 minutes.  By doing both of these, I’m gathering a ton of information about how they move globally.  After you get a little experience by doing a bunch of screens and assessments, you’ll start to see exactly where you want to look and dig deeper.  Adding some simple breakout assessments on top of the top tier and FMS, you’ll have the exact roadmap of where to go with someone.


This will be the first segment in a series to show you how we, as fitness professionals, can use a tool like the SFMA (pieces of it…not the whole thing) and get better overall results.


We’ll get started with the assessment.


Cervical Flexion, Extension, & Rotation:

Shoulders, Patterns 1 & 2:




SL Balance:


As always, I highly recommend taking the certification courses provided by the Functional Movement Systems.  They’re fantastic and really help you understand movement.  You can learn more by visiting their website at


You can also find a free SFMA Download over at


Start looking at these patterns and we’ll show you how to break them down a little deeper in the near future.