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Hamstring curl exercise and injury prevention in sport

Summary of a review with meta-analysis of how the hamstring curl exercise (Nordic hamstring exercise) influences the risk of sustaining hamstring strain injury in sport.

Who

8,459 athletes participating in soccer, rugby, baseball and Australian football (North America, UK, Europe, Scandinavia and Australia). 2 studies with female athletes, 13 studies with male athletes.

Design

Systematic review and meta-analysis of 15 studies: 7 RTCs, 1 controlled trial, 7 cohort studies.

Outcome measures/tests

  • injury (index, first injury)
  • re-injury (recurrent injury)

Main results

  • There were 525 hamstring injuries in 8459 athletes accross 15 studies.
  • The incidence of hamstring injuries was 0.1/1000 hours (9 studies, weighted by sample size) in players who performed hamstring curl exercise, and 0.2/1000 hours in players who did not.
  • The overall pulled reduction of hamstring injuries in intervention group (doing injury prevention programme including Nordic hamstring exercise) was 51% compared with control group (doing usual training) (RR 0.49, 95%CI: 0.32;0.74, P-value = 0.0008).

Take home message

For a clinician
The overall pulled reduction of hamstring injuries was 51% in athletes doing injury prevention programmes including Nordic hamstring exercise compared with control group doing usual training.
For a parent
Athletes doing injury prevention programmes including Nordic hamstring exercise had 51% reduction in hamstring injuries.
For an athlete
Nordic hamstring curl reduced hamstring injuries by 51%.

Original article

Van Dyk N, Behan FP, Whiteley R. Including the Nordic hamstring exercise in injury prevention programmes halves the rate of hamstring injuries: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 8459 athletes. British journal of sports medicine. 2019 Nov 1;53(21):1362-70.

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