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Holistic hamstring health: not just the Nordic hamstring exercise
  1. Aiden J Oakley1,
  2. Jacob Jennings1,
  3. Chris J Bishop2
  1. 1 Department of Sport Sciences, ASPIRE Academy, Doha, Qatar
  2. 2 London Sports Institute, Middlesex University, Allianz Park, Greenlands Lane, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Aiden J Oakley, Department of Sport Sciences, ASPIRE Academy, Doha 22287, Qatar; aiden.oakley{at}aspire.qa

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Introduction

Hamstring strain injuries (HSIs) are the most prevalent in team sports, accounting for 12%–26% of injuries in Australian rules football, American football, football, rugby and track and field.1 The biceps femoris is the most commonly injured muscle with 53%–68% of injuries occurring during sprinting.1 In European football, the incidence and recurrence of HSI has continued to rise, while in Australian rules football, a notable reduction in HSI recurrences has been reported.1 It is possible that evidence-based hamstring injury prevention is not adopted or adhered to in some elite level football teams,2 which may explain the rise in HSI.

Although not an exhaustive list, HSI risk factors include: age, previous injury, strength imbalance, flexibility, fatigue1 and low eccentric strength.3 There is a growing body of evidence on the Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE) and its impact on HSI reduction.4 However, there may be misconceptions (fuelled by social media) that this is the only exercise used …

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