Reducing hamstring injuries in Footballers

Functional movement screening for injury prevention / performance enhancement are popular in sport. However, the validity of these movement screens remains to be thoroughly investigated. However, correcting these muscle imbalance in athletes clearly reduces injury and improves performance. Of 462 elite football players tested in the preseason, 53% were considered to be balanced, 47% were found to be imbalanced (in terms of quads and hamstrings ratios).



Strength imbalances
• 40% of players had bilateral differences on concentric strength.
• 60% of players had bilateral differences in eccentric strength.
• 87% of players had poor hamstring to quads ratio.

Injury frequency
• 4.1% of players with no pre-season strength imbalance sustained a hamstring injury.
• 16.5% of players with an untreated pre-season strength imbalance sustained a hamstring injury (a 4-fold increase in risk).
• 5.7% of players with a pre-season strength imbalance provided a programme to correct imbalances suffered a hamstring injury (significantly reduced risk) (Croisier, 2008)


Askling (2003) studied 90 elite Swedish football players and divided them in to 2 groups. Group 1 received no additional strength training, group 2 received 16 sessions of specific hamstring training, once every 5 days for 4 weeks, then once every 4 days for 6 weeks. Training consisted of 4 sets of 8 prone leg curls on a Yo-Yo device (concentric / eccentric action).


The prone leg curl group showed a significant increase in both concentric and eccentric strength compared to the control group; a significant increase in 30m speed and a significantly lower number of hamstring injuries

Arnason (2008) introduced a 5 weeks period of gradually increased training load, after this players performed 3 sets of Nordic hamstring eccentric exercises (one at 12 reps, one at 10 reps and one at 8 reps) – much like a glute ham raise. Teams were asked to use these exercises three times a week in the preseason and once to twice a week in season.


Hamstring injuries were 65% lower in teams that performed the eccentric exercise programme. In contrast stretching during warm up and flexibility training of the hamstrings had no effect on the incidence of hamstring strains.


Clearly doing hamstring strength training is required to prevent hamstring injuries. The best place to perform a high volume of hamstring training is in the preseason period for up to 6 weeks. A good GPP hamstring strength phase follows that can be used in the preseason period. This type of programme can also be used with injured players during their rehabilitation to prevent hamstring injuries when back in training. You will see that this programme emphasises the hip extensor component of the hamstring, integrating them with the glutes and low back. You could of course pick knee flexion exercises and perform a similar circuit. This is known as a Milos circuit after the body builder Milos Sarcev who has popularised this type of circuit. You should perform this circuit once every five days and build up to 4 sets. Enjoy

Posterior chain

Sets

Reps

Tempo

Rest

A1. Snatch grip DL

4

10

4010

10 seconds

A2. Reverse hyper

4

10

2010

10 seconds

A3. Incline hyper snatch grip reach and pull

4

10

2010

10 seconds

A4. Back extension

4

10

2010

10 seconds

A5. Seated good morning

4

10

2010

10 seconds

A6. Romanian dead lift

4

10

2010

10 seconds

A7. Standing good morning

4

10

2010

10 seconds

A8. Snatch grip Romanian dead lift

4

10

2010

10 seconds

A9. Pierre Roy squat

4

10

2010

10 seconds

A10. Straight knee round back DL

4

10

2010

180 seconds

Share Button
Peak XV Fitness located at Reading , Berkshire, UK . Reviewed by 59 customers rated: 4.6 / 5