Background The hamstring muscle strengthening is an integral part of validated injury prevention programs in football. However, it is unknown whether hamstring muscle strengthening exercises are used in female elite football.
Objective To investigate the use of hamstring muscle strengthening in female elite football training.
Design Descriptive, cross-sectional study.
Setting Online questionnaire.
Participants Overall, 338 Danish players were invited to answer the online questionnaire. 123 players from the best national league answered the questionnaire (≤ 18 yrs.: N=70) and (≥ 18 yrs: N=53).
Assessment of Risk Factors The online questionnaire covered e.g. baseline information, years of football experience, previous injuries and amount of hours pr/week doing strength training. The following question was asked: ’Which of the following exercises are a part of your weekly training?’ With the following options: Leg Curl, Deadlift, Nordic Hamstring and Kettlebell Swing.
Main Outcome Measurements Four hamstring strength exercises: Leg Curl, Deadlift, Nordic Hamstring and Kettlebell Swing.
Results 54,7% of the adult players reported that they did strength training 3–4 hours/week vs. 39,1% of the youth elite players. All four hamstrings exercises were reported to be a part of the weekly training in both groups: The Nordic Hamstring exercise was performed among 75% of the adult elite players vs 70% of the youth elite players. Deadlift 77% (adult) vs 53% (youth). Kettlebell swing 36% (adult) vs 44% (youth) and finally the Leg curl 40% (adult) vs. 14% (youth)
Conclusions The present results indicate that hamstrings exercises are implemented in the weekly training among the majority of Danish female elite football players. The Nordic Hamstring is overall the most performed hamstring exercise in both groups. However, it remains to be elucidated how the exercise is implemented in terms of frequency and load.
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