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Stretch & Flex

Hate those nagging injuries? Want to stay healthy and play more often? Then try Functional Movement System.

What sounds more like one of those Billy Mays commercials is in fact becoming a reality show.

David Coburn of Preferred Fitness in Ironton said the Functional Movement System is a new physical fitness screening program that is picking up momentum with college and professional teams.

Several pro teams are using the FMS program for players with a history of injuries. The Indianapolis Colts are more serious about FMS.

“If you can’t score at least a 14 out of 22, the Colts won’t let the player lift until he can get a 14,” said Coburn who took the test himself and scored a 14.

One example of the Colts’ testing was running back Joseph Addai (5-11, 214) who scored a nine while tight end Dallas Clark (6-3, 252) racked up a 20 score.

“Clark doesn’t look like the player that Addai is, but he is more flexible and at less of a risk of injury,” said Coburn. “A lot of colleges are going to this program now.”

The Colts administer the testing the first day of camp to both veterans and rookies.

Coburn said studies show that there is a 50 percent greater chance of injury when players scored lower than 14.

“I would rather have an athlete who is tight both ways. Then it might just be the way the athlete is. If the right hamstring was tighter than the left, the athlete is more at risk for an injury. You’re hardly ever dealing with a symmetrical athletic,” said Coburn.

“Our goal is to fix the problem with the athlete. We want the athlete to be more symmetrical.”

Most kids can not do a proper squat or a proper push-up because heir core is so weak. Coburn said it took him about 10 minutes to take the test.

“It doesn’t measure your skill. It measures your flexibility. It’s more that you’re being measured to see if you will get injured just running a sprint. It answers the question why an athlete is more prone to getting an ankle sprain or a groin strain,” said Coburn.

“Injuries when you take a helmet hit to the knee can’t be avoid, but you can prevent chronic injuries.”

Many colleges such as Marshall have adopted dynamic stretching that is considered a better way of stretching and is more effective. It also takes less time and lowers the risk of these chronic injuries.

Coburn said Preferred Fitness will begin utilizing the program immediately for anyone interested.

“I can teach the technique to anyone, but I can detect the problem. There is some training involved,” said Coburn.

Here are the seven screens to test flexibility and mobility:

1. Deep Squat: This is used to assess bilateral, symmetrical, mobility of hips, knees and ankles. The dowel held overhead assesses bilateral, symmetrical mobility of the shoulders as well as the thoracic spine.

2. Hurdle Step: This is used to assess bilateral mobility and stability of the hips, knees, and ankles.

3. In-line Lunge: Is used to assess bilateral mobility and stability as well as ankle and knee stability.

4. Shoulder Mobility: Is used to assess bilateral shoulder range of motion combine internal rotation with adduction and external rotation with abduction.

5. Active Straight Leg Raise: Is used to assess active hamstring and gastroc/soleus flexibility, while maintaining a stable pelvis.

6. Trunk Stability Push-Up: Is used to assess trunk stability in the sagittal plane while a symmetrical upper extremity motion is performed.

7. Rotational Stability: Is used to assess multi-planar stability while a combined upper and lower extremity motion is performed.