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Is There a Relationship Between the Functional Movement Screen, Star Excursion Balance Test, and Balance Error Scoring System?

Harshbarger, Nicole D., MS, ATC; Anderson, Barton E., DHSc, ATC; Lam, Kenneth C., ScD, ATC

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: July 2018 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 389–394
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000465
Original Research

Objective: To evaluate associations between the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT), and Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) scores.

Design: Correlational.

Setting: College athletic training facilities.

Participants: Fifty-two intercollegiate athletes (men = 36 and women = 16) representing 8 sports and cleared for unrestricted sport participation.

Interventions: Participants completed the FMS, SEBT, and BESS, in random order, during 1 testing session. Testing order was randomized to control for fatigue and learning effects.

Main Outcome Measures: Composite and item scores for the FMS, SEBT, and BESS.

Results: A fair, negative correlation was found between FMS asymmetry and SEBT composite (r = −0.31, P = 0.03) scores. Fair, positive correlations were reported for FMS rotary stability task and SEBT anterior (r = 0.37-0.41, P ≤ 0.007) and posteromedial (r = 0.31, P = 0.03) reaches. Fair, negative correlations were reported for FMS deep squat and BESS single-leg firm (r = −0.33, P = 0.02), double-leg foam (r = −0.34, P = 0.02) and tandem foam (r = −0.40, P = 0.003), FMS inline lunge and BESS single-leg firm (r = −0.39, P = 0.004), FMS trunk stability pushup and tandem foam (r = −0.31, P = 0.025), and FMS composite and BESS single-leg firm (r = −0.37, P = 0.007). Little-to-no correlations were reported for remaining comparisons.

Conclusions: Results indicate that each instrument provides distinct information about function, with only small areas of overlap. Associations between the FMS asymmetry score and SEBT composite score may indicate a relationship between movement asymmetry and postural stability. Associations between the FMS deep squat and BESS foam tasks may be related to underlying neuromuscular control factors.

Athletic Training Programs, Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, A.T. Still University, Mesa, Arizona.

Corresponding Author: Kenneth C. Lam, ScD, ATC, Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Arizona School of Health Sciences, A.T. Still University, 5850 E. Still Circle, Mesa, AZ 85206 (

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Received August 24, 2015

Accepted April 27, 2017

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.