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The Effect of an Intervention Program on Functional Movement Screen Test Scores in Mixed Martial Arts Athletes

Bodden, Jamie G.; Needham, Robert A.; Chockalingam, Nachiappan

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2015 - Volume 29 - Issue 1 - p 219–225
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182a480bf
Original Research

Abstract: Bodden, JG, Needham, RA, and Chockalingam, N. The effect of an intervention program on functional movement screen test scores in mixed martial arts athletes. J Strength Cond Res 29(1): 219–225, 2015—This study assessed the basic fundamental movements of mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes using the functional movement screen (FMS) assessment and determined if an intervention program was successful at improving results. Participants were placed into 1 of the 2 groups: intervention and control groups. 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 FMS score of the intervention group between weeks 0 and 8 (p = 0.00) and weeks 0 and 4 (p = 0.00) and no significant increase between weeks 4 and 8 (p = 1.00). A χ2 analysis revealed that the intervention group participants were more likely to have an FMS score >14 than participants in the control group at week 4 (χ2 = 7.29, p < 0.01) and week 8 (χ2 = 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 with 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 and, furthermore, the fact that the issues can be improved through a standardized intervention program could be advantageous to MMA coaches, thus, providing the opportunity to adapt and implement new additions to training programs.

Center for Sport, Health and Exercise Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sport & Exercise, Staffordshire University, Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Robert A. Needham,

Copyright © 2015 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.