Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Study Spotlight: Relationship Between Functional Movement Screen and Athletic Performance

By: Joel Luedke

We feel that movement screening/analysis is extremely important.  If you don't start with some sort of baseline measuring your ability to perform 'basic' movements you won't be able to see where you have been and where you have got to.  We believe in test and re-test because what gets measured get accomplished but with no initial screening that make things very difficult.  In this weeks Study Spotlight we look at how one movement assessment, the Functional Movement Screen, can predict athletic performance.

What They Did:

-The researchers looked at many different performance measures to see if they could find a correlation between those measures and scores on the Functional Movement Screen (FMS).  They tested the 10m sprint, 20m sprint, vertical jump, agility T-test, and club head velocity (golf swing).  They also looked at 1 rep max squat strength

The FMS is based on a seven exercises with a maximum score of 21.  You are graded on each exercise and performed them bilaterally if the movement calls for it.  You then take the lowest score from each exercise to add to your raw total score.  Previous research has found a score of ~14 to be the cut off of where injury risk potentially increases.

What They Found:
Researchers found that the FMS testing did not have a significant relationship to sprinting, jumping or agility performance.  It also appeared to have no significant relationship to sport-specific performance.  They did find however that 1 RM squat max had significant relationships to all variables measured.

What Does It All Mean?
This has been an area of contention when it comes to the FMS.  A lot of people when they first saw this study just wrote the FMS off as not a useful tool to help in athletic performance, and based on these results I can see their point.  That does not however mean that it isn't a useful tool.  The FMS doesn't claim to be a predictor of athletic performance but only a baseline movement that can help you find deficiencies and then work to correct them.

In our utilization of the movement screen we aren't using it to measure athletic performance markers and predict who the best athlete is.  We utilize the data to look at movement deficiencies that could potentially lead to a overuse injury if it is not corrected.  Utilizing this data we build corrective and mobility exercises around the exercises that are there to increase performance to address the entire picture of the athlete.

Movement screening is still vitally important tool and is something in one way or another (FMS or not) should be done not only for athletes but for everyone that is athletic.  It will allow you to get ahead of potential injuries and can also help save you from robbed athletic performance.  Find someone and utilize their skills to help get movement screened and get ahead of injury.

Study: Relationship Between Functional Movement Screen and Athletic Performance.  Christopher   Prachmann.  Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

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