Functional Movement Patterns and Body Composition of High-Level Volleyball, Soccer, and Rugby Players

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Sports practice leads athletes to develop a specific body composition, coordination patterns, and basic motor skills based on the different tactical and physical needs. Objectives: To present and compare a wide range of functional movement patterns and body composition (BC) parameters of high-level male athletes playing different sports and to determine if there was a relationship between the parameters examined. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Team facilities. Participants: A total of 30 volleyball, 25 soccer, and 30 rugby players (age = 25.9 [5.0] y and body mass index = 25.6 [4.1] kg/m2). Interventions: Functional movement patterns and anthropometric measurements were collected by a physician specifically trained. Main Outcome Measures: Body mass index, fat mass, fat-free mass, upper-arm muscle and fat area, calf muscle and fat area, thigh muscle and fat area, and functional movement screen (FMS) scores. In addition to considering the FMS total score, the authors separated the screen into 3 parts: FMSmove, FMSflex, and FMSstab. Results: The rugby players showed a higher number of asymmetrical and dysfunctional movements than the other athletes (P < .01), while the highest scores in FMSflex were obtained by the volleyball players (P < .01). In addition, most of the asymmetrical and painful movements in the athletes were measured on the shoulder mobility test. Muscle and fat areas differed significantly among the athletes (P < .05). Significant associations were found between movement patterns and several BC variables. In particular, large negative correlations were measured between percentage of fat mass (r = −.616; P < .01), upper-arm fat area (r = −.519; P < .01), and FMS total score. Conclusions: Functional movement patterns and BC differ in athletes according to the sport practiced. Furthermore, reaching an optimal BC is essential to achieve a satisfactory quality of movement.

The authors are with the Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Science, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Campa (francesco.campa3@unibo.it) is corresponding author.
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