Hamstring Injury Prevention
written by Blake Walmsley
Congratulations Curl Curl Youth Club Amateur League Division 1 squad, on their League win, MWFA Cup win and Grand final win. Premier league is in store for them, and keeping players on the field is a big priority.
Hamstring injuries are quite common in football, consisting of 16% of all injuries experienced. I’m sure quite a few of you have seen or experienced yourself, someone getting shot in the thigh by an imaginary sniper in the trees.
I’ve been working with the CCYC AL1’s squad for two seasons. In the 2016 season there was a high number of hamstring injuries, about 6, that occurred throughout the season. That accounts for about 20% of the squad which is quite a high statistic. In the 2017 season, only 2 hamstring injuries were recorded, bringing it down to about 7%. What brought this change about? The season was arguably longer with the squad’s successful MWFA Challenge Cup campaign, so in all respects it should have been worse.
Eccentric training has long been shown to improve hamstring injury incidence, classically the Nordic drop is the easiest exercise to do in a football training setting.
Research shows that eccentric exercise can decrease hamstring injuries by 60%. Implementing the Nordic drop into a team’s regular warm up will achieve the required frequency to achieve a training effect and reduce the incidence in hamstring injuries. This is exactly what we did with the CCYC squad, using the latest evidence-based practice to better a team’s performance.
I’ve included a table taken from research for Eccentric Hamstring training using the Nordic Drop exercise. Please only attempt if you haven’t experienced any problems with your hamstrings in the past, and see a physiotherapist if you encounter any problems.