Summaries Courtesy of Strength and Conditioning Research Review

The study

Efficacy of the Functional Movement Screen: a review. Kraus, Schütz, Taylor, and Doyscher, in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Publish Ahead of Print

What is the background?

The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a commercially marketed test in which 7 different movements are graded from 1 – 3 points. The sum of these tests is taken to create a total score out of 21 points. Researchers have shown that when using a cut-off point of 14 points, it is possible to use the sum score to predict injury risk, albeit with a relatively low degree of accuracy.

What did the researchers do?

The researchers compared spinal motion and trunk muscle activity during the prone hip extension when performing either the AB or ADIM approaches to lumbo-pelvic stability.

What did the researchers find?

Reliability and validity

The reviewers found that the FMS is generally a reliable screen in the literature, if the rater is educated and experienced. However, the reviewers noted that there are concerns regarding the validity of the FMS sum score. To combine tests and produce a sum score, individual tests must measure the same underlying variable (compensatory movement patterns) and individual test scores must be strongly correlated with one another. However, the reviewers found that individual FMS test results are not strongly correlated with one another.

Athletic performance and injury risk

The reviewers found that a clear picture in the literature that the FMS was limited in its ability to predict athletic performance. On the other hand, they assessed that its ability to predict injury was moderate. They found that the use of the FMS to assess improvements following from an intervention, the quality of these studies was poor and a single high-quality trial found different results.

What are the practical implications?

The FMS produces reliable results, if the rater is educated and experienced. The FMS should not be used to assess athletic performance or the effects of a program but may be useful to help predict injury risk. Since there are problems with using the FMS sum score on the basis of a lack of validity, it may be better to use individual test scores separately rather than the sum.


Relationship between hip and core strength and frontal plane alignment during a single leg squat.

Stickler, Finley, and Gulgin, in Physical Therapy in Sport, 2014
single leg squat

What is the background?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) occurs very frequently in young adult females. However, despite being so common, its exact cause remains unclear and diagnosis of PFPS is usually made once other, more easily diagnosed conditions have been ruled out. Many researchers believe that lower-body biomechanics are a key factor in the development of PFPS and the single-leg squat has often been used to explore the biomechanics of knee movement in this context.

What did the researchers do?

The researchers wanted to establish if there are any correlations between joint angles in the frontal plane during a single-leg squat and trunk and hip strength in females. They recruited 40 healthy but untrained females who performed a set of 3 standard isometric strength tests, an isometric side-lying plank test, and a single-leg squat test. The 3 standard isometric strength tests comprised hip abduction, hip extension, and hip external rotation.

What did the researchers find?

The researchers found that all 4 of the measurements of isometric strength were significantly correlated with the frontal plane projection angle, albeit with poor correlation coefficients. Hip abduction strength was the best predictor of the variation in frontal plane projection angle. The only strength factor that was significantly correlated with pelvic angle was hip extension strength and this correlation was moderate in size.

What are the practical implications?

There is an important relationship between hip extension, external rotation and abduction strength and lower-body movement during the single-leg squat in females. Therefore, the hip abductors and hip extensors should be trained when rehabilitating individuals from PFPS.

Reviews provided courtesy of Strength and Conditioning Review.

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