Date of Award

May 2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Kinesiology

First Advisor

Kyle T. Ebersole

Committee Members

Carlynn A. Alt, Razia Azen, Jennifer E. Earl-Boehm, Kathryn R. Zalewski

Keywords

Functional Movement Screen, Intervention, Movement Efficiency Test

Abstract

Introduction: Previous research suggests that functional movement quality is related to musculoskeletal injury (MSKI) risk, as well as measures of health and fitness, among the firefighter population. Therefore, if a corrective exercise program could elicit improvements in functional movement quality among firefighters, it may be possible to concomitantly improve health and fitness, as well as decrease MSKI risk, among this cohort population of tactical athletes. Methods: Accordingly, 51 active-duty firefighters were recruited to participate in the pre-intervention (Phase 1) and intervention (Phase 2) portions of the current study. Phase 1 examined the relationship between two different functional movement assessments among active-duty firefighters (N = 49): the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and the Movement Efficiency (ME) Test associated with the Fusionetics Human Performance System. Phase 2 examined the influence of a four-week corrective exercise program aimed at improving functional movement quality on measures of functional movement, as well as measures of health and fitness, among active-duty firefighters (N = 44). Participants were placed into either the Corrective Exercise Program (CEP) group (n = 22) or the Control (CON) group (n = 22) in a counterbalanced fashion, based on their initial quality of functional movement. Results: The four-week corrective exercise programming created by the Fusionetics Human Performance System did not elicit significant improvements in functional movement quality or measures of health and fitness among active-duty firefighters. As such, a short-term corrective exercise program aim at improving functional movement quality did not significantly decrease the theoretical risk of future MSKI in this cohort population. However, exploratory analyses suggest that a lack of supervision by qualified individuals may have influenced the efficacy of the corrective exercise programming. Finally, results of the current study suggest that even though a significant relationship was identified between these two assessments of functional movement quality, the ME Test may lack criterion-reference validity in relation to the FMS among active-duty firefighters. Conclusions: Future research should examine the potential influence of supervised and non-supervised corrective exercise training on functional movement quality and the influence of various external factors on these commonly utilized assessments of functional movement within the firefighter population.

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