The hamstring muscles are uniquely prone to injury in field athletes, where high intensity running and sprinting often lead to strains and occasionally tears. While the aetiology of hamstring injuries is complex, thigh injuries were highlighted in The UEFA Injury Study 2011 accounting for 17% of all injuries, with subsequent lay-off time of 18-24 days. Cases of hamstring injury & re-injury are commonplace and can have implications for career progression or longevity.

An emerging paradigm in hamstring injury prevention is eccentric hamstring muscle training  and is demonstrating encouraging findings for athletes. One study from The British Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that eccentric loading of the hamstrings through kettlebell training significantly increased medial hamstring strength. And a new study from The International Journal of Sports Medicine demonstrates more evidence for eccentric hamstring training.

Implications

The finding here suggests that eccentric hamstring training, using ones bodyweight, is an effective method of increasing hamstring muscle activation and strength. For athletes that need to sprint and absorb reaction forces from the ground, adding the nordic exercise to their training programme may assist in injury prevention.