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Performance on the Functional Movement Screen Is Related to Hop Performance But Not to Hip and Knee Strength in Collegiate Football Players

Willigenburg, Nienke PhD; Hewett, Timothy E. PhD

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: March 2017 - Volume 27 - Issue 2 - p 119–126
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000317
Original Research

Objective: To define the relationship between Functional Movement Screen (FMS) scores and hop performance, hip strength, and knee strength in collegiate football players.

Design: Cross-sectional cohort.

Participants: Freshmen of a Division I collegiate American football team (n = 59).

Main Outcome Measures: The athletes performed the FMS, and also a variety of hop tests, isokinetic knee strength, and isometric hip strength tasks. We recorded total FMS score, peak strength, and hop performance, and we calculated asymmetries between legs on the different tasks. Spearman correlation coefficients quantified the relationships between these measures, and χ2 analyses compared the number of athletes with asymmetries on the different tasks.

Results: We observed significant correlations (r = 0.38-0.56, P ≤ 0.02) between FMS scores and hop distance but not between FMS scores and hip or knee strength (all P ≥ 0.21). The amount of asymmetry on the FMS test was significantly correlated to the amount of asymmetry on the timed 6-m hop (r = 0.44, P < 0.01) but not to hip or knee strength asymmetries between limbs (all P ≥ 0.34).

Conclusions: Functional Movement Screen score was positively correlated to hop distance, and limb asymmetry in FMS tasks was correlated to limb asymmetry in 6-m hop time in football players. No significant correlations were observed between FMS score and hip and knee strength or between FMS asymmetry and asymmetries in hip and knee strength between limbs. These results indicate that a simple hop for distance test may be a time-efficient and cost-efficient alternative to FMS testing in athletes and that functional asymmetries between limbs do not coincide with strength asymmetries.

*OSU Sports Medicine, Sports Health and Performance Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio;

Joint Research, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, OLVG, Amsterdam, the Netherlands;

Departments of Physiology and Cell Biology,

§Orthopaedic Surgery,

Family Medicine, and

Biomedical Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio;

**Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio;

††Department of Pediatrics and Orthopaedic Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio; and

‡‡Department of Orthopedics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Corresponding Author: Timothy E. Hewett, PhD, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, The Ohio State University, Martha Morehouse Medical Pavilion, suite 3100, 2050 Kenny Rd, Columbus, OH 43221 (

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Received November 26, 2014

Accepted December 18, 2015

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