Sex-related Differences in Functional Movement Screen Scores Among Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadets

Quincy Johnson, Jacob Scraper, Robert G. Lockie, Rob Marc Orr, Jay Dawes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: The primary aim of Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs is to prepare cadets for future military service. To successfully complete one of these programs and perform active duty responsibilities, cadets must be able to complete a variety of physical tasks. Therefore, performing movement screening may be useful for identifying potential movement disparities that could lead to injury. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether sex-related differences in movement patterns exist on the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). The FMS is a tool that uses seven functional movements to assess movement pattern deficits and asymmetries; deep squat, hurdle step, inline lunge (ILL), shoulder mobility, active straight-leg raise (ASLR), trunk stability push up (TSPU), and rotary stability. 
Materials and Methods: Archived data for 93 (male, n=69; female n=24) ROTC cadets were provided to the primary investigators for analysis. Independent t-tests (P < .05) were conducted to analyze differences in assessments between sexes.
Results: Significant differences between sexes were observed on the ILL (P=.014), ASLR (P < .001), and TSPU (P < .001).Females scored higher on both the ILL (2.13±0.54) and ASLR (2.04±0.69) compared with males (1.81±0.52and 1.48±0.58). Males scored significantly higher (P≤.001) on the TSPU (2.57±.581) compared with females(2.00±.417). No significant differences were observed in the deep squat (P=.865), hurdle step (P=.829), shoulder mobility (P=.342), and rotary stability (P=.230) assessments.
Conclusions: Sex differences in the ILL, ASLR, and TSPU may be because of greater mobility in the ankle and hamstrings and reduced upper-body muscle mass for females compared with males. Males performed better than females on the TSPU test. In conclusion, sex-related differences in FMS performance do exist within the ROTC population. Additionally, these differences should be taken into consideration when designing specific exercise programs for ROTC cadets.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberusaa417
JournalMilitary Medicine
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2021

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