The Movement Optimization & Variability for Exercise Sustainment (MOVES) Lab is made up of a group of athletic trainers, engineers, and students who are exploring human movement.

213MOVESFPLThe MOVES Lab is directed by Dr. Jimmy Onate and works in conjunction with the Movement Analysis and Performance (MAP) Lab. 

The goal of the MOVES Lab is to minimize the occurrence of injuries and increase performance in a variety of active populations.  The MOVES Lab works with Ohio State athletes, the military, youth baseball teams, high schools across the country, and active individuals in the Columbus area. 

Are you interested in getting involved with the MOVES Lab? Contact Jimmy Onate at

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FPPE Project Functional Evaluation to Predict Lower Extremity Musculoskeletal Injury

The World Health Organization now recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity daily physical activity for children ages 5-17. With increased activity recommendations comes increased risk for musculoskeletal injuries. 

The National Federation of State High School Associations considers the pre-participation physical evaluations (PPE) a prerequisite to athletics participation, yet despite this recommendation there are no large-scale controlled trials confirming the effectiveness of the PPE. 

The recently updated PPE guidelines promote a “functional” aspect of testing by incorporating performance based tests designed to evaluate deficits in movement control for identification of increased predisposition for injury.  

Limitations exist concerning the best recommended functional test components, their ability to predict musculoskeletal injury, and effectiveness as compared to a traditional PPE. 

As a first step towards addressing this limitation, our preliminary data demonstrates that deficits in functional performance (i.e., balance, strength, and movement control) are able to predict lower extremity injury. 

To address the gap in the knowledge of the PPE musculoskeletal examination, we will utilize an innovative approach to develop a cost-effective and time efficient F-PPE for use in clinical settings. 

We will utilize a national cohort of randomly recruited high schools currently participating in a large-scale prospective longitudinal injury surveillance study (High School Reporting Injuries Online-RIO™ project). By using our High School RIO injury surveillance system we will record injury occurrence on athletes from 20 high schools for one year to identify which F-PPE measurement(s) are best associated with injury risk and develop operational procedures for the F-PPE. 

Our primary hypothesis is that functional pre-participation physical evaluations (F-PPE) will better predict lower extremity injury than traditional PPE.

Aim 1 hypothesis is that asymmetry indices will provide improved positive predictive value during a standardized F-PPE operational procedure developed to predict lower extremity injury risk for individuals participating in organized high school sponsored athletics. 

Aim 2 will utilize the F-PPE operational procedure developed in Aim 1 on a different set of 20 high schools that will be followed for three years to establish the prediction capabilities of the F-PPE. 

Aim 2 hypothesis is that injury risk prediction performance of the F-PPE will provide increased predictive capabilities as compared to the traditional PPE musculoskeletal examination model for assessing lower extremity injury risk in high school-aged athletic participants. 

The proposed research is significant because it will help to understand the parameters of functional performance testing in the PPE and evaluate methods for improving risk prediction of musculoskeletal lower extremity injury.

Participating High Schools:
  • Lakeside (Ohio)
  • Edgewood (Ohio)
  • Conneaut (Ohio)
  • Hamilton (Ohio)​
  • Saint John (Ohio)
  • Laurel School (Ohio)
  • Justin-Siena (California)
  • Rancho Mirage (California)
  • Mountain View (Colorado)
  • Mountain Range (Colorado)
  • Whitefield Academy (Georgia)
  • North Gwinnett (Georgia)
  • Resurrection College Prep (Illinois)
  • South Putnam (Indiana)
  • Culver (Indiana)
  • Eastern Greene (Indiana)
  • Greenup County (Kentucky)
  • Loyola Blakefield (Maryland)
  • Hellgate (Montana)
  • Hamilton (Montana)​
  • Oxford Area (Pennsylvania)
  • Bishop Lynch (Texas)
  • Heritage (Virginia)
  • Enumclaw (Washington)

If you want to get involved with this study or have any questions, email the FPPE project Manager, Cambrie Starkel at

CREST Project Combatant/Craft/Crewmen Rapid Enhancement and Sustainment Tracking

The United States Naval Special Warfare community is composed of an elite group of highly trained individuals with the primary mission of defending the United States. The group of Special Forces operators that support special warfare in the Navy community is comprised of the Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) operators as well as Special Warfare Combatant Craft Crewman (SWCC). Individual training costs of SOF soldiers have been estimated to be approximately $1.5 million each, minus medical expenses due to injury. In light of the enormous financial and personnel investment the Naval Special Warfare program represents, performance enhancement and readiness injury prevention strategies are warranted. Multiply the cost spent in training one special operations soldier across the numerous special warfare communities around the United States and the importance of evaluating performance enhancement and readiness strategy effects on injury incidence in the Naval Special Warfare community can be easily noted.  

The goal of the Human Performance Program (HPP) arm of the USSOCOM Preservation of The Force and Families Task Force (POTFF-TF) is to attain and maintain a peak level of human performance through the development of top-caliber physical conditioning and maintenance programs compared to those of professional sports organizations.  The HPP will focus on physical conditioning to not only accomplish military missions in the short-term but to emphasize the maintenance of peak performance in the long-term to lengthen the careers of operators, and ensure a high quality life for operators and their families.  The ultimate goal of the CREST Surveillance and Monitoring model is optimizing sustainability of SOF operators through a systematic approach. 

The implementation of the CREST Surveillance and Monitoring model focuses efforts at optimizing human performance, limiting attrition and gross manpower losses from accidental or occupational injuries in high-risk activities.  The ongoing monitoring will identify injury and occupational risk, and will aid in the rapid recovery, rehabilitation, and reconditioning of SOF operators throughout their careers and lives.  The comprehensive surveillance and tracking model provides a vehicle to analyze trends and provide solutions to address the Human Performance capability gaps.

Hip FAI Study

The purpose of this study is to determine whether a difference in kinematic and kinetic functional measures exists for individuals affected by femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAI).  FAI is the leading cause of non-arthritic pain in patients who are young and active and is defined as the abnormal abutment of the femoral neck against the acetabular rim.  This misalignment is due to morphologic changes of the femoral head, acetabular rim, or both, causes pain with activity, and has been linked to earlier onset of osteoarthritis.  A rise in arthroscopic surgical intervention has been seen as awareness of the effects of FAI has increased.  Many studies have examined qualitative outcomes following surgical intervention and support its use as a treatment of this pathology.  However, a lack of literature exists regarding functional outcomes.  This study would serve to provide quantitative measures of hip strength, endurance, gait, and proprioception.  A better understanding of deficits experienced in these areas would increase the ability to develop and validate effective rehabilitation programs for those affected by FAI.

This study will use various methods to assess muscular strength and gait mechanics to determine if differences exist.  Subjects will be asked to perform standing strength tests, walk/jog on a treadmill, and replicate a predetermined position while standing and moving their leg.  The testing session will be completed a second time six months after surgery, and a third time twelve months after surgery.  This study poses minimal risk to subjects, as any task performed during testing is of less intensity than an average exercise routine or rehabilitation program.  The information gathered from this study will help to develop and validate effective rehabilitation programs.

Gait mechanics will be assessed using a 3-dimensional motion capture camera system.  Retro-reflective markers will be placed on various anatomical landmarks to capture the motion of the segment while running/walking on a treadmill.  The images collected will appear only as dots on a computer screen; no recognizable footage will be collected of subjects.  Proprioception will be assessed using a functional joint position sense test.  This test will also be measured through the use of the 3-dimensional camera system.  Subjects will be asked to recreate a predetermined position.  Strength will be measured using a load cell attached to the wall, an isokinetic dynamometer, and various body weight exercises.  Electromyographical data will be collected throughout the entire session.  Prior to any test performance, subjects will have adhesive electrodes placed over the muscles of the hip.  The data recorded will assess muscle recruitment response to task demand.  

If you want to get involved with this study or have any questions, contact Meghan Miller, AT at

Neuroplasticity in ACL Injury Brain-Behavior Model for Lower Extremity Motor Control – Neuroplasticity in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures are common activity-related knee injuries usually requiring surgical reconstruction to restore knee stability and function. Despite surgical reconstruction and physical rehabilitation, injury of the ACL dramatically increases the risk for a second injury (re-tear or contralateral leg), costly and long term disabling osteoarthritis as well as decreased lifelong physical activity. The mechanism of this injury is typically non-contact, meaning the individual experiences a loss of neuromuscular control during jump landing, running or a change of direction maneuver without contact from another person or any other external force. Current interventions strictly focus on biomechanical adaptations mitigating their injury protective effects. Previous investigators have observed central nervous system and somatosensory deficits despite ACL reconstruction and rehabilitation and our lab has demonstrated that this is likely due to the intervention failing to cause a neuroplastic adaptation. This project will be the first to connect highly dynamic measures of knee neuromuscular function with whole brain activation patterns to generate a brain-behavior model. The integration of neuroimaging proposed in this investigation will identify the central nervous system components of ACL injury not accounted for in current assessment and intervention techniques. 

To get involved as a participant we are recruiting:
  1. Physically active individuals who have had an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury or 
  2. Physically active individuals with no history of ACL injury  
To complete:
  1. Movement mechanics (running, jumping) and
  2. Functional magnetic resonance brain imaging
To get started please fill out the survey: 

Or contact:

Motor Learning Study

Motor Learning is a set of internal processes associated with practice or experience leading to relatively permanent changes in the capability for motor skill.  Motor Learning is the process by which we learn how to move.  Many times these processes happen without our knowledge but they are also the basis by which we instruct others in new movement patterns.  Motor learning is the primary process used by health professionals and coaches to change and improve movement patterns.  There are many mechanisms that we can use to achieve this, many we use already without knowing they are in fact well understood motor learning techniques.  The processes by which we give instructions and feedback are all, in fact, motor learning techniques.  In our lab, we seek to understand the most effective mechanisms to provide instruction and feedback to maximize athletic performance and minimize injury risk.  We have many high tech and low tech mechanisms available to us to study the effects of instruction and feedback.  We utilize 3-D and 2-D motion analysis, force and balance plates, as well as low tech functional testing to understand the effects of our interventions.  Our goal is to understand the effects of the motor learning techniques used every day by clinicians and coaches as well as develop new methodologies that advance the science of motor learning.

Any questions about this upcoming study should be directed to Eric Schussler ATC, PT at:

Injuries and Performance in Baseball and Softball

The injury and performance in baseball and softball study, through a coordinated effort of the OSU Sports Biomechanics Lab and OSU MOVES Lab, aims to identify how biomechanics and functional movement performance relate to pain and performance in pitching and hitting in baseball, as well as in other overhead athletes. Current projects focus on how functional performance and biomechanics of the lower extremity and trunk relate to arm pain in youth athletes. By identifying how the legs and trunk relate to biomechanics and pain, training programs can be designed which address functional weaknesses to improve throwing and swing efficiency, and may help to reduce pain and risk of overuse injury.

This project is currently recruiting athletes across the country to participate in this study by taking a short survey online. If you or your team might have individuals interested in participating, now or in the future, you can contact us using the information below for more information.

The OSU Sports Biomechanics Lab also offers a biomechanical and functional movement screening to identify individual characteristics that may be keeping pitchers and hitters from performing their best. Individuals as well as teams are welcome to participate in biomechanical and functional movement screenings at any time. For more information or to schedule a screening, contact us using the information provided below.

Contact: Mike McNally, MS, CSCS Movement Analysis and Performance Lab Manager, PhD Student - School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Phone: (614) 293-2246

Meet the MOVES Research Team

Dr. James Onate, PhD — Director of MOVES Lab
Mike McNally, MS, CSCS — Movement Analysis and Performance Lab Manager
Cambrie Starkel, MS — FPPE Project Manager
Dan Clifton MEd, ATC, CES — PhD Student
Eric Schussler — PhD Student
Meghan Miller — PhD Student
Gabrielle Collucci — Graduate Student
Chris Ballance — Undergrad Student
Ani Tarimala — Undergrad Student
Jared Seidel — Undergrad Student
Cameron Armstrong — Undergrad Student
Emily Holmes — Undergrad Student
Jack Cerne — Undergrad Student
Armelle DeRiso — Undergrad Student
Olivia DiCarlantonio — Undergrad Student
Kristen Looman — Undergrad Student
Alexandria Silvestri — Undergrad Student
Tim Hawkins Hodgson — Undergrad Student

Additional Research

The MOVES Lab and its research team constantly develop new research ideas and questions. Here are just one of the team's additional research projects: