- Hamstring muscle activation appears to be entirely individual, but these individual patterns are consistent through the three speeds assessed in this study.
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
Hamstring injuries are a major contributor to time loss within running-based sports, and the burden of injury is potentially increasing in some sports (1). It is understood that the hamstring muscles have anatomical variations from proximal to distal regions of the same muscle, and also between muscles, with the architecture of Biceps Femoris Long Head (BFlh) being more suited to high force production than the Semitendinosus (ST). It is therefore important to understand if different regional innervations play a potential part in susceptibility to injury.
The primary aim of this study was to examine the impact of increasing running speed on the EMG activity of the BFlh and ST muscles. There was also a secondary aim of the study which was to examine length changes within the BF and ST, which would allow for EMG activity to be interpreted in relation to muscle mechanics.
Running at max speed provides the athlete with a much greater level of hamstring muscle activation than any gym-based exercise. And for this reason, maximal velocity running must be part of a well-rounded hamstring injury prevention program.
Thirteen amateur football and Gaelic football athletes were screened as part of the study. They were required to attend two separate sessions between four and seven days apart, with the first session consisting of a maximum speed treadmill running test