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Introduction: Gait retraining techniques vary with little known on how correcting underlying functional movement patterns may remediate the more specialized skill of running. Therefore, the purpose of this exploratory study was to determine if an in-season corrective exercise program aimed at improving Functional Movement ScreenTM (FMS) scores would alter running biomechanics in a group of healthy distance runners.
Methods: Nine healthy NCAA Division II male (n=2) and female (n=7) cross country runners (age, 18.9 + 1.1 yrs; height, 1.64 + 0.09 m; mass, 56.7 + 6.3 kg)
underwent a laboratory-based 3D gait evaluation and FMS as part of preparticipation physical examinations. Team-based corrective exercises were developed from the FMS pretest scores and administered 2-3x/week for 12 weeks. FMS total scores, bilateral pelvis, hip, knee and ankle stance kinematics during running were compared before and after the corrective exercise program using paired samples t-tests, p≤0.05.
Results: FMS (pre 14 ±1.5 vs post 16.4 ± 1.8, p=.001) and left KFLEX (pre 36.4o ± 11.3 vs post 42.2 ± 5.2, p=.024) significantly changed. Right and left HADD, HIR, and CPD decreased indicating a trend toward improvement.
Conclusions: Correcting underlying functional movement patterns shows promise in improving faulty running mechanics in healthy distance runners.