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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2015 Dec;25(6):e621-9. doi: 10.1111/sms.12388. Epub 2014 Dec 30.

Effects of hamstring-emphasized neuromuscular training on strength and sprinting mechanics in football players.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Therapy, ZENTRUM Rehab and Performance Center, Barañain, Spain.
2
Chair of Sports Traumatology, Catholic University of San Antonio, Murcia, Spain.
3
Laboratory of Exercise Physiology, University of Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne, France.
4
Laboratory of Exercise Physiology, University of Savoie, Le Bourget du Lac, France.
5
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Saint-Etienne University Hospital, Saint-Etienne, France.
6
Laboratory of Exercise Physiology (EA 4338), University of Lyon, Lyon, France.
7
Research Center for High Performance Sport, Catholic University of San Antonio, Murcia, Spain.
8
Aspire, Academy for Sports Excellence, Performance Enhancement and Talent Identification Section, Doha, Qatar.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine the effects of a neuromuscular training program combining eccentric hamstring muscle strength, plyometrics, and free/resisted sprinting exercises on knee extensor/flexor muscle strength, sprinting performance, and horizontal mechanical properties of sprint running in football (soccer) players. Sixty footballers were randomly assigned to an experimental group (EG) or a control group (CG). Twenty-seven players completed the EG and 24 players the CG. Both groups performed regular football training while the EG performed also a neuromuscular training during a 7-week period. The EG showed a small increases in concentric quadriceps strength (ES = 0.38/0.58), a moderate to large increase in concentric (ES = 0.70/0.74) and eccentric (ES = 0.66/0.87) hamstring strength, and a small improvement in 5-m sprint performance (ES = 0.32). By contrast, the CG presented lower magnitude changes in quadriceps (ES = 0.04/0.29) and hamstring (ES = 0.27/0.34) concentric muscle strength and no changes in hamstring eccentric muscle strength (ES = -0.02/0.11). Thus, in contrast to the CG (ES = -0.27/0.14), the EG showed an almost certain increase in the hamstring/quadriceps strength functional ratio (ES = 0.32/0.75). Moreover, the CG showed small magnitude impairments in sprinting performance (ES = -0.35/-0.11). Horizontal mechanical properties of sprint running remained typically unchanged in both groups. These results indicate that a neuromuscular training program can induce positive hamstring strength and maintain sprinting performance, which might help in preventing hamstring strains in football players.

KEYWORDS:

Hamstring strength; football; isokinetic; soccer; sprint biomechanics

PMID:
25556888
DOI:
10.1111/sms.12388
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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