Influence of Body Composition on Functional Movement Screen™ Scores in College Football Players

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: The functional movement screen (FMS™) is used to identify movement asymmetries and deficiencies. While obesity has been reported to impede movement, the correlation between body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage (BF%), and FMS™ in athletes is unknown. Objective: To determine if there is a relationship between BMI, BF%, and FMS™ scores in a sample of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I football athletes. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Biodynamics laboratory. Participants: A total of 38 male freshman football players (18.0 [0.7] y, 185.3 [5.5] cm, and 103.9 [20.3] kg). Interventions: Height, weight, and BF% were collected, and subjects underwent the FMS™ conducted by a certified athletic trainer. Main Outcome Measures: The dependent variables were BMI, BF%, composite FMS™ score, and 7 individual FMS™ test scores. Subjects were grouped as normal BMI (BMI < 30 kg/m2) or obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2). A composite FMS™ score of ≤14 and an individual FMS™ score of ≤1 were classified as cutoffs for poor movement performance. Results: A negative correlation between composite FMS™ score and BMI approached significance (P = .07, ρ = .296). A negative correlation between composite FMS™ score and BF% was significant (P = .01, ρ = −.449). There was a significant difference in the number of obese subjects scoring below the composite FMS™ cutoff (χ2 = 5.179, P = .02) and the individual FMS™ cutoff on the deep squat (χ2 = 6.341, P = .01), hurdle step (χ2 = 9.870, P = .002), and in-line lunge (χ2 = 5.584, P = .02) when compared with normal BMI subjects. Conclusions: Increased BF% and BMI relate to lower composite FMS™ and individual FMS™ test scores, indicating potentially poor movement patterns in larger National Collegiate Athletic Association football athletes. Future research should focus on examining lower extremity–specific FMS™ tasks individually from composite FMS™ scores.

The authors are with the Sports Health & Performance Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. Nicolozakes and Hewett are also with the Dept of Biomedical Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. Borchers and Hewett are also with the Dept of Family Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. Hewett is also with Orthopaedics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Nicolozakes (constantine.nicolozakes@northwestern.edu) is corresponding author.
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