What are we aiming for in eccentric hamstring training: angle-specific control or supramaximal stimulus?

Review written by Dr Teddy Willsey info

Key Points

  1. Many athletes are performing the Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE) too fast and could benefit from using assistance periodically to slow down their tempo.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Eccentric training is well established as a potent tool for increasing muscle strength, hypertrophy, and power. Eccentric training plays a role in nearly all hamstring training and rehab. Regular implementation of eccentric training has been shown to elicit both tendon and muscular adaptations that can help to reduce injury risk (1). Despite a growing body of knowledge on hamstring injuries, epidemiological data shows a continual rise in incidence and recurrence amongst field athletes (2).

Presently, there is not a clear agreement among practitioners regarding the most effective method of executing the Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE). Previous investigations into NHE typically use 100% bodyweight with an eccentric tempo around 3 seconds for 6 to 12 repetitions per set (3). The authors of this paper sought out to examine how changes in the speed and break-point angle of the NHE affect peak moment (PM), angle of peak moment (APM), impulse (J), time under tension (TUT), and fractional TUT < 45 deg knee flexion.

Regular implementation of eccentric training has been shown to elicit both tendon and muscular adaptations that can help to reduce injury.
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Provided sufficient intensity, time under tension, and range of motion, slow eccentrics have been shown to offer significant carry-over to faster isokinetic measurements (150°/s) of eccentric torque.

METHODS

The cross-sectional study design aimed to investigate if the downward acceleration angle (DWA) could be used as a classification parameter to distinguish between two NHE execution conditions: increasing velocity (VI) and constant velocity (VC). Data was used from previously published

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