Correlation Between Ankle-Dorsiflexion and Hip-Flexion Range of Motion and the Functional Movement Screen Hurdle-Step Score

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context:

Functional movement screening (FMS) has been gaining popularity in the fields of sports medicine and performance. Currently, limited research has examined whether FMS screening that identifies low FMS scores is attributed primarily to limits in range of motion (ROM).

Objective:

To compare scores from the FMS hurdle-step movement with ROM measurements for ankle dorsiflexion and hip flexion (HF).

Design:

Correlational research design.

Setting:

Sports medicine research laboratory.

Participants:

20 healthy active male (age 21.2 ± 2.4 y, weight 77.8 ± 10.2 kg, height 180.8 ± 6.8 cm) and 20 healthy active female (21.3 ± 2.0 y, 67.3 ± 8.9 kg, 167.4 ± 6.6 cm) volunteers.

Intervention:

All 40 participants completed 3 trials of the hurdle-step exercise bilaterally and goniometric ROM measurements for active ankle dorsiflexion and HF.

Main Outcome Measures:

Correlations were determined between ROM and FMS scores for right and left legs. In addition, mean data were compared between FMS scores, gender, and dominant and nondominant limbs.

Results:

There were no significant correlations present when all participants were grouped. However, when separated by gender significant correlations were identified. There was a weak correlation with HF and both hurdle-step (HS) and average hurdle-step (AHS) scores on both left (r = .536, P = .015 and r = .512, P = .012) and right (r = .445, P = .049 and r = .565, P = .009) legs for women. For men, there was a poor negative correlation of HF and both HS and AHS on the left leg (r = –.452, P = .045 and r = .451, P = .046).

Conclusion:

Our findings suggest that although hip and ankle ROMs do not have a strong relationship with FMS hurdle-step scores, they are a contributing factor. More research should be conducted to identify other biomechanical factors that contribute to individual FMS test scores.

The authors are with the Exercise and Sport Science Dept, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.

Address author correspondence to Charlie Hicks-Little at charlie.hickslittle@hsc.utah.edu.