BACKGROUND: The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a valuable tool that can be used to examine the stability and mobility of joints during different movement patterns. The original deep squat with the overhead position of the dowel rod and elevation of the heels potentially masks underlying joint issues within the trunk and hips. Additionally, it is an unnatural position for a typical task that involves squatting. The modification via inclusion of the front rack position and keeping the heels flat on the floor allows for a more potentially applicable movement-based scoring of the squat pattern. The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine if there is a significant difference between the original FMS Deep Squat Screen (DSv1) and a modified Deep Squat Screen (DSv2). METHODS: Thirty-nine healthy college aged participants (female: n=14; male: n=25) were recruited to complete the current IRB-approved (Study No. 2023-049) protocol. In brief, participants reported to the Human Performance Laboratory, completed informed consent, and a health history screening to ensure no current or prior major orthopedic problems to preclude participation. Participants then completed the (DSv1) and a novel (DSv2) in which the dowel rod is placed in the front-rack position instead of the overhead position and the heels are not elevated on the FMS board. Statistical Analysis: Due to the ordinal nature of the FMS scoring criteria, Friedman’s analysis of variance was used. Post-hoc analysis to determine differences in the testing measures was conducted using Wilcoxon sign-ranks' analysis. RESULTS: Friedman’s analysis demonstrated a significant difference between V1 and V2 of the FMS Deep Squat movement pattern (p<0.001). Post-hoc analysis revealed a significant difference in mean score for Deep Squat Version 1 (1.89) and Deep Squat Version 2 (1.15). 74% of participants (n=29) recorded one score higher using DSv1 relative to DSv2. DISCUSSION: The results of this exploratory study indicated a significant difference between the DSv1 scores compared to the DSv2 scores. The potential reason for this difference may be due to removing the overhead shoulder position, as well as keeping the feet flat on the ground. This modification better reflects a real squat pattern and potentially assists in better identifying stability issues within the trunk and hips.

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