This study assessed the basic fundamental movements of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes using the Functional Movement Screen(TM) (FMS) assessment and determined if an intervention program was successful at improving results. Participants were placed into 1 of 2 groups: intervention and control group. The intervention group was required to complete a corrective exercise program 4 times per week and all participants were asked to continue their usual MMA training routine. A mid-intervention FMS test was included to examine if successful results were noticed sooner than the 8 week period. Results highlighted differences in FMS test scores between the control group and intervention group, p=0.006. Post hoc testing revealed a significant increase in the intervention groups FMS score between weeks 0-8, p=0.00 and weeks 0-4, p=0.00 and no significant increase between weeks 4-8, p=1.00. A chi square analysis revealed the intervention group participants were more likely to have an FMS score >14 than participants in the control group, at week 4 [chi][superscript digit two] = 7.29, p<0.01 and week 8 [chi][superscript digit two] = 5.2, p<0.05. Finally, a greater number of participants in the intervention group were free from asymmetry at week 4 and week 8 compared to the initial test period. The results of the study suggested that a 4 week intervention program was sufficient at improving FMS scores. Most, if not all the movements covered on the FMS relate to many aspects of MMA training. The knowledge that the FMS can identify movement dysfunctions, furthermore, the fact that the issues can be improved through a standardised intervention program could be advantageous to MMA coaches. Thus, providing the opportunity to adapt and implement new additions to training programs.
Copyright (C) 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.