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- Issue 31
- Eccentric hamstring strength in elite track…
Eccentric hamstring strength in elite track and field athletes on the British Athletics world class performance program
- Athletes who perform long sprint events displayed a significant asymmetry between right and left knee flexor strength.
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
As in many sports, hamstring injury has been recorded as the number one cause of time loss in track and field athletes (1). Despite this knowledge, and also the knowledge that there is a correlation between decreased eccentric hamstring strength and increased risk of hamstring injury (2), there is not currently any published literature on eccentric hamstring strength in track and field athletes.
Therefore, the primary aim of this study was to compare peak and relative eccentric force and limb symmetry between different event groups and between genders. The secondary objective of the study was to establish if there were any peak force deficits among those previously injured.
Even very high levels of eccentric strength are not adequately protective against hamstring injury.
As part of the athletes regular screening program, eccentric hamstring strength was measured using the NordBord device. In this test, players ankles are strapped into the device and load cells provide a measure of eccentric force production (see video).