Background: The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a tool designed to establish a baseline for fundamental movement capacity, highlight limitations and limb asymmetries, and identify potential injury risk. Previous research has shown that individual components of the screen are also indicative of injury risk, as well as potential predictors of athletic performance unlike the FMS composite scores. However, this literature is limited and lacks statistical power. Identifying which component scores are predictive of injury risk and athletic performance would provide a quick, powerful tool for coaches and trainers to evaluate athletes. Purpose: To determine if individual component scores of the FMS are associated with athletic performance in highly-active youth athletes. Methods: Youth athletes participated in the Specialized Athlete Functional Evaluation (SAFE) Program. Data collection was extensive, however, for the purpose of this abstract, only a selection of data was analyzed – age, BMI, years played, total number of past injuries, isokinetic knee strength, 10- and 20-meter sprint, single-leg hop (SLH) distance, and FMS scores. Seated knee flexion/extension strength was collected at 120°/second using a Biodex System 4, and peak torque was normalized by body weight. The maximum distance of three SLHs was recorded for each leg and normalized to leg length. FMS scores used for analysis included the total composite and component scores, including the deep squat, hurdle step, in-line lunge, shoulder mobility, active straight-leg raise, trunk stability push-up, and rotary stability. Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Tests were used to determine side-to-side differences, and Kruskal-Wallis tests were performed to determine differences in athletic performance based on FMS scores (α<0.05). Results: A total of 38 highly-active, youth athletes (26F; 15.4±2.6 years; BMI 21.0±5.3) were tested. Participants reported playing organized sports for 8.7±3.4 years, having 2.0±1.2 past sports-related injuries, and 74% reported specializing in a single sport. No side-to-side differences were found. While the composite FMS score significantly differed by number of past injuries (p=0.036), it was not associated with athletic performance. Alternatively, left knee strength, sprint speeds, and right hop distance significantly differed by the hurdle step component score (Table 1). Conclusion: While the composite FMS score was not an indicator of athletic performance, the hurdle step component score was associated with strength, speed, and jump performance. This individual task could be a beneficial tool for coaches and trainers when evaluating athletic ability and injury risk of athletes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine