Graduate Program

Kinesiology and Sports Studies

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion

Summer 2021

Thesis Director

Brian L. Pritschet

Thesis Committee Member

Maranda D. Schaljo

Thesis Committee Member

Joshua Stice


Firefighters job requirements consist of running upstairs, climbing ladders, ceiling breach and pull, carrying equipment, forcible entry, dragging hoses, raising ladders, and rescue of patrons all while wearing heavy protective equipment that limits their mobility (Park et al., 2015). The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between relative strength and mobility within the population of firefighters. The subjects were volunteers consisting of twelve male firefighter ranging in age from 25-52 with the mean age of 37.7 ± 7.7 years. Leighton Flexometer was used to measure joint range of motion (ROM) in different active movement patterns (Leighton, 1966). Absolute strength was evaluated using a 5RM estimate of 1RM (Haff & Triplett, 2016; Shephard, 2009) for the back squat, conventional deadlift, pull up, and bench press. Relative strength was calculated for each of the movement patterns by dividing the subjects 1RM by their bodyweight Baechle & Earle, 2008; Dohoney et al.,2002; Haff & Triplett, 2016; Shephard, 2009). The relationship between relative strength and joint mobility in firefighters showed negative correlations indicated that increased plantar flexion ROM could lead to decrease in relative strength ratios in both the back squat r(9) = -.66, p=-.026 and conventional deadlift r(9) = -.61, p=-.036. A positive correlation that was increased shoulder flexion ROM could lead to increase relative strength ratio in the back squat r(9) =.70, p=.017. It was concluded that increased joint mobility does not illicit increased relative strength in firefighters except in specific joints and exercises. Shoulder flexion ROM correlated with increased relative strength of the back squat in firefighters was the one exception to the findings of this study. Firefighters sample size was too small to entirely understand the relationship. The relationship between relative strength and joint mobility in firefighters needs to be further investigated.

Included in

Kinesiology Commons