Using the Functional Movement Screen™ to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Training

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Frost, DM, Beach, TAC, Callaghan, JP, and McGill, SM. Using the functional movement screen™ to evaluate the effectiveness of training. J Strength Cond Res 26(6): 1620–1630, 2012—The Functional Movement Screen™ (FMS) has demonstrated some efficacy in the prediction of injuries and is thus used by many practitioners to make recommendations for exercise. However, questions remain regarding its utility as a means to evaluate the effectiveness of training. Sixty firefighters volunteered to participate, and their FMS scores were examined before and after 12 weeks of training. Individuals were graded on how they chose to perform rather than how they could perform. The participants were assigned to 1 of 3 groups: intervention 1, intervention 2, or control. The 2 intervention groups received three 1.5-hour training sessions each week and differed in the emphasis that was placed on movement quality. Sagittal and frontal plane videos were used to grade the FMS with 3 methods: the standard 0–3 scale, a 100-point scale that weighted specific compensations (research standard), and a modified 100-point scale whereby grades were assigned based on the total number of compensations present. There were no significant differences in the total FMS scores for any group posttraining. However, the scores of 85% of the firefighters who did not receive training did change. The 100-point scale methods resulted in more FMS score changes posttraining, but the between-group interactions were identical to those found with the standard scoring method. The control group's scores were not consistent pretraining and posttraining; thus, the influence of each intervention could not be evaluated. Currently, the FMS might provide a momentary impression of general movement quality, although further efforts would likely assist in the development of better ways to implement the test, interpret the results, and generate reliable scores.

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