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Hamstring injuries and Australian Rules football: over-reliance on Nordic hamstring exercises as a preventive measure?

Authors Milanese S, Eston R

Received 12 April 2019

Accepted for publication 6 June 2019

Published 23 July 2019 Volume 2019:10 Pages 99—105


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Andreas Imhoff

Steve Milanese,1 Roger Eston2

1International Centre for Allied Health Evidence, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; 2Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Abstract: Nordic hamstring exercises (NHE) are promoted as an evidence-based strategy for reducing the prevalence of hamstring injuries in football, with a number of studies showing a significant reduction in hamstring injury rates following implementation of a NHE-based program. However, most of the research to date has been undertaken in soccer with less research carried out in other football codes. Despite this lack of relevant evidence, NHE has recently become popular as a preventative measure in Australian Rules football (ARF) teams; however, hamstring injuries remain high. This paper reviews the literature associated with the use of NHE for ARF players and questions the appropriateness of this exercise approach as a preventative measure for hamstring injuries in this sport. When considering the use of a preventative exercise program, such as the NHE, the specific risks associated with the sporting activity should be considered and the evidence reviewed in light of this. Whilst NHE provides an easy way to do eccentric exercises, the movement does not replicate what is needed in the real world for ARF and should therefore be included in a hamstring injury prevention program in this code with caution.

Keywords: Nordic hamstring exercises, prevention, hamstring injury, Australian Rules football

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