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  • Author: Stefania Toselli x
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Francesco Campa, Federico Spiga, and Stefania Toselli

Context: Poor functional movement patterns negatively affect the ability to perform fundamental movements with precision and efficiency, increasing injury risk in athletes. Objectives: To examine the effect of a 20-week corrective exercise program during the competitive season on functional movement patterns in youth elite male soccer players. Design: Cohort study. Setting: Team facilities. Participants: Sixty-five youth elite male soccer players (age: 15.89 [0.53] y; weight: 67.42 [6.78] kg; and stature: 175.20 [6.34] cm). Of the 4 teams, 2 were randomly selected to take part in the corrective program. Thus, the players were placed into 2 groups: corrective exercise program and control group. Intervention: Corrective exercise program. Main Outcome Measures: Functional Movement Screen (FMS) was used to assess the presence of dysfunctional, asymmetrical, and painful movements in the players before and after the intervention period. In addition to considering the FMS total score (FMStotal), we separated the screen into 3 parts: FMSmove, FMSflex, and FMSstab. A repeated-measures analysis of variance was conducted to determine the effectiveness of the training program on FMS scores. The chi-square test was performed to determine whether there were significant changes in the frequencies of asymmetric and dysfunctional movements after 20 weeks. Results: No athlete experienced severe injuries during the intervention period. There was a significant group by time interaction (P < .01) for FMStotal, FMSmove, and FMSstab, in which only the corrective exercise program increased their scores after the intervention period (P < .05). A chi-square analysis showed a significant (P < .05) decrease in asymmetric and dysfunctional movements at the follow-up in corrective exercise program, whereas these changes were not observed in the control group. Conclusions: Youth elite soccer players demonstrate a high prevalence of asymmetric movements during FMS testing, but their functional movement patterns can be improved during the competitive season following a specific corrective exercise program.

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Francesco Campa, Alessandro Piras, Milena Raffi, and Stefania Toselli

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.