Table 1

Injury-specific load planning considerations and strength/power diagnostics for phase progression during return to sport (RTS)

InjuryConsiderations for RTS load planningStrength/power diagnostics
Hamstring injuriesProgression of running speeds (>70% maximal speed)
Progression of acceleration/deceleration magnitudes (intensity)
Appropriate stage to combine sprint distance and chaos
Iso posterior chain/hamstring PF, RFD, SE (FP)
Ecc hamstring PF (NHE)
Con/ecc hamstring PT (IKD)
Quadriceps injuriesProgression of acceleration frequency and magnitudes
(explosive distance)
Progression of running speeds (>70% maximal speed)
Progression of change of direction angles (45°–180°)
Progression of technical actions—passing, shooting, jumping/landing actions
Iso squat PF, RFD (FP)
Iso quadriceps PF (HHD)
Dyn split squat force/impulse asymmetries (FP)
Con/ecc quadriceps PT (IKD)
Calf injuriesProgression of running volumes (total distance, HSR, sprint distance)
Progression of running speeds (>70% maximal speed)
Progression of acceleration/deceleration frequency and magnitudes (explosive distance)
Iso soleus/gastrocnemius PF, RFD (FP)
SL/DL CMJ jump height, force/power/impulse and asymmetries (FP)
10–5 hop test RSI, force/impulse asymmetries (FP)
Adductor injuriesProgression of acceleration/deceleration frequency and magnitudes (explosive distance)
Progression of change of direction (45°–180°)
Progression of technical actions—passing, crossing, shooting, tackling
Appropriate stage to combine change of direction, at speed, under chaotic conditions
Iso hip abductor/adductor; PF (GroinBar)
Ankle injuriesProgression of running volumes (total distance, HSR, sprint distance)
Progression of change of direction (45°–180°)
Progression of acceleration/deceleration frequency and magnitudes (explosive distance)
Appropriate stage to combine change of direction, at speed, under chaotic conditions
Progression of technical actions—jumping/landing actions
Iso soleus/gastrocnemius PF, RFD, SE (FP)
DL CMJ ecc, con, landing force/impulse asymmetries (FP)
10–5 hop test RSI, force/impulse asymmetries (FP)
Hop+hold dynamic stability (FP)
ACL injuriesProgression of running volumes (total distance, HSR, sprint distance)
Appropriate weekly planning between sessions in early stages
Progression of acceleration/deceleration frequency and magnitudes
Appropriate stage to add chaotic conditions to HSR and change of direction
DL CMJ ecc, con, landing force/impulse asymmetries (FP)
SL CMJ jump height, power, impulse asymmetries
DL/SL drop jump RSI (FP)
Iso squat/mid-thigh pull PF, RFD (FP)
Iso soleus/gastrocnemius PF, RFD (FP)
Iso posterior chain PF, RFD, SE (FP)
Ecc hamstring PF (NHE)
10–5 hop test (FP)
Iso hip abductor/adductor PF (GroinBar)
Fractures (injury mechanism specific, ie, stress or trauma)Progression of running volumes (total distance, HSR, sprint distance)—novel ‘load’
Appropriate weekly planning between sessions in early stages
Progression of technical actions—passing, shooting, jump/landing actions
Progression of tackling/volume of tackles (mid-shaft tibia/fibula)
CMJ ecc, con, landing force/impulse asymmetries (SL, DL) (FP)
Iso squat/mid-thigh pull PF, RFD (FP)
Iso soleus/gastrocnemius PF, RFD (FP)
Iso posterior chain PF, RFD (FP)
Ecc hamstring PF (NHE)
10–5 hop test (FP)
DL/SL drop jump RSI (FP)
Iso hip abductor/adductor PF (GroinBar)
  • Novel ‘load’, new/unusual load, providing a novel stimulus for bone remodelling.

  • ACL, anterior cruciate ligament; CMJ, countermovement jump; COD, change of direction; con, concentric; DL, double Leg; DJ, drop jump; Dyn, dynamic; ecc, eccentric; FP, force platform; HHD, hand-held dynamometer; HSR, high-speed running (>5.5 ms−1); IKD, isokinetic dynamometer; iso, isometric; NHE, Nordic hamstring exercise; PF, peak force; PT, peak torque; RFD, rate of force development; RSI, Reactive Strength Index; SE, strength endurance; SL, single leg.