Movement quality and links to measures of fitness in firefighters

Stuart McGill, David Frost, Jordan Andersen, Ian Crosby, Darren Gardiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Given the possible links between movement, fitness and injury, the goal of this study was to evaluate strength, endurance, and hip range of motion (ROM) (i.e. fitness); movement quality; and age in a population of firefighters. PARTICIPANTS: Male firefighters (n=282), all members of a major Canadian city fire department, volunteered to participate in this cross-sectional study. METHODS: Torso endurance, grip strength, pull-ups, hip ROM, movement quality (sum of 7 movement tasks graded on a 0–3 scale), age, body mass, height, body mass index, and hip and waist circumference were assessed in 282 Firefighters. Relationships between variables were evaluated and compared to relevant populations (i.e. police officers, other firefighters, athletes, students and healthy males). RESULTS: There was no relationship between age and fitness or movement quality. Compared to other populations, our firefighter population had poorer torso endurance but similar grip strength. Larger body mass, waist circumference and hip width were correlated (p< 0.01) with poorer Total Movement Score. Back extensor endurance (Biering-Sorensen test) was found to have the strongest relationship with Total Movement Score in comparison to all other tests. Notably, the extensor endurance and pull-ups were related to five of nine tasks each. The magnitude of hip ROM asymmetry related only to the stand-sit-stand movement test. In general, correlations between variables were relatively low, suggesting that most of these variables are independent and/or unrelated to one another. CONCLUSIONS: Movement quality is not strongly correlated with traditionally utilized markers of fitness, nor is movement linked to age. This would imply that training should include movement competency components together with traditional fitness objectives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-366
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • hip range of motion
  • strength
  • movement quality
  • torso endurance
  • database


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