A Preliminary Study Investigating Functional Movement Screen Test Scores in Novice and Advanced Female Show Jumping Riders

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    The functional movement screen (FMS) is an easily administered and non-invasive tool to identify areas of weakness and asymmetry during specific exercises. FMS is a common method of athlete screening in many sports and is used to ascertain injury risk, but has to be used within an equestrian population. The aim of this study was establish FMS scores for Novice and Advanced Female Show Jumping Riders, to inform a normative data set of FMS scores in horse riders in the future.
    Twenty-two female show jumping horse riders (mean age 21.5 yrs.). Twelve riders competing at 80cm and below were the ‘novice’ group and ten riders in the ‘advanced’ group competing at 125cm, were assessed based on their performance on a 7-point FMS (deep squat, hurdle step, in-line lunge, shoulder mobility, active straight leg raise, trunk stability and rotary stability). The mean composite FMS scores (± s.d.) for the novice rider group was 12.08 ± 2.7 and for the advanced riders was 14.08 ± 1.77. There was a statistical significant difference in median FMS composite scores between the novice show jumping rider and advanced show jumping rider groups (Mann-Whitney U test, p=0.004). One hundred percent of novice show jumping riders and 50% of advanced show jumping riders scored ≤14, indicating that a novice rider is 2 times (O.R.) more likely to be at increased risk of injury compared to advanced riders.
    Advanced show jumping riders scored higher than novice riders but both groups scored lower than seen in other sports suggesting some show jumping riders may be at risk of injury. Riders’ FMS scores demonstrated asymmetric movement patterns potentially limiting left lateral movement. Asymmetry has a potential impact on equestrian performance, limiting riders’ ability to apply the correct cues to the horse. The findings of such screening could inform the development of ancillary training programmes to correct asymmetry pattern and target injury prevention.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of physical fitness, medicine and treatment in sport
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2019


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