BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
Hamstrings strains are regularly acknowledged as the most commonly sustained injury in a range of field sports involving regular high speed running. Due to this fact, the Askling L-Protocol is of particular interest to clinicians as it displayed a reduction in return to sport time and also a reduction in reinjuries compared to a standard hamstring rehabilitation program. This initial study was only a qualitative analysis of the program and there has not been an analysis of the exercises to understand why they may be effective. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the characteristics of muscle activation and synchronize them with measures of joint displacement and velocity to allow greater understanding of the exercises.
The study recruited eleven physically active participants (five females and six males) who competed at either competitive (five) or recreational (six) level sport. The subjects completed familiarization sessions before then completing ten repetitions of the three Askling L-Protocol exercises (Extender, Diver and Glider). The exercises were performed in a randomized order. Data analysis was then performed in order to determine the kinematic and EMG characteristics of the exercises. Surface EMG recorded activity within the following four muscles - Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus, Gluteus Maximus and Rectus Femoris. Sterophotogrammetric technology was utilized in order to complete the kinematic analysis of the exercises.
Extender - the extender exercise is driven by the Rectus Femoris muscle with negligible activity of the Biceps Femoris and Semitendinosus muscles. Participants were only able to complete the exercise to an average of 18 degrees of knee flexion range.