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Infographic. Video analysis of match hamstring injury patterns in professional male football (soccer) teaches us about the need for demand-specific multicomponent exercise-based risk reduction programmes
  1. Thomas Gronwald1,
  2. Christian Klein2,
  3. Tim Hoenig3,
  4. Micha Pietzonka2,
  5. Hendrik Bloch2,
  6. Pascal Edouard4,5,
  7. Karsten Hollander1
  1. 1 Institute of Interdisciplinary Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, MSH Medical School Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  2. 2 Department of Sports Injury Prevention, VBG, German Statutory Accident Insurance for the Administrative Sector, Hamburg, Germany
  3. 3 Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
  4. 4 Inter-university Laboratory of Human Movement Biology, EA 7424, Univ Lyon, UJM-Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne, France
  5. 5 Department of Clinical and Exercise Physiology, Sports Medicine Unit, University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, Faculty of Medicine, Saint-Etienne, France
  1. Correspondence to Professor Thomas Gronwald, MSH Medical School Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany; thomas.gronwald{at}

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Although hamstring injuries represent a high proportion of injuries and a high injury burden in professional football, little attention has been given to understanding typical patterns of hamstring injuries. Understanding injury causation represents one key factor in injury risk mitigation.1 We conducted a systematic video analysis to investigate inciting events of hamstring injuries in professional male football players.2

What did we find?

We analysed 52 moderate and severe (ie, time loss of >7 days) acute non-contact (n=34) and indirect contact (n=18) match hamstring injuries across four seasons (2014–2019) of the two highest divisions in German male football (Bundesliga; 2. Bundesliga). The pattern analysis revealed 25 sprint-related injury patterns (48%, non-contact: 22, indirect contact: 3) and 27 stretch-related injury patterns (52%, non-contact: 12, indirect contact: 15) (figure 1).

Figure 1

Infographic: hamstring injury pattern in football.

Fourteen of the 25 sprint-related injuries were found in an acceleration phase (56%) and 10 in a high-speed running phase …

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  • Contributors TG wrote the first draft of the manuscript, which was critically revised by all co-authors.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests PE is Associate Editor for the BJSM. PE and KH are Associate Editors for the BMJ Open Sports and Exercise Medicine.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.