Advertisement

Determinants of hamstring fascicle length in professional rugby league athletes

Published:December 12, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2019.12.006

      Abstract

      Objectives

      Investigate the determinants of hamstring fascicle length in professional rugby league players.

      Design

      Retrospective cohort study

      Methods

      Thirty-three elite male athletes underwent testing in the pre-season and in-season periods. Fascicle length measurements of the biceps femoris long head, 3D kinematics and elapsed time-periods at thigh angular velocities between 20 °/s to peak velocity during a single-leg Nordic hamstring strength test, GPS-derived running loads, age and previous injury history were all recorded. Fixed effect determinants for fascicle length were analyzed using multiple linear regression.

      Results

      Significant determinants of hamstring fascicle length were observed. Multivariate regression analysis showed modifiable factors including chronic (56 days) running volumes >80% of measured peak velocity and maximum velocity itself collectively explained 43% of the variability in the fascicle length data, whilst peak eccentric strength and elapsed time under load from 20 °/s to peak thigh angular velocity collectively contributed an additional 44%. Chronic running volumes >90% of individually measured peak velocity and the ‘break angle’ during a Nordic eccentric contraction were not significant contributors to the final model. Non-modifiable risk factors (age and previous injury) contributed the remaining 13%.

      Conclusions

      Managing high velocity running exposure as well as eccentric strength allows for ˜90% of the controllable determinants in fascicle length within elite athlete populations. An important contributor to the explained variability within fascicle length (superseded only by chronic velocity exposure and peak eccentric strength) was an athletes ability to achieve a prolonged contraction at long lengths during eccentric strength training rather than the angle of failure during the contraction in itself.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Al Attar W.
        • Soomro N.
        • Sinclair P.
        • et al.
        Effect of injury prevention programs that include the Nordic hamstring exercise on hamstring injury rates in soccer players: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
        Sports Med. 2017; 47: 907-916
        • Arnason A.
        • Sigurdsson S.B.
        • Gudmundsson A.
        • et al.
        Risk factors for injuries in football.
        Am J Sports Med. 2004; 32: 5S-16S
        • Bourne M.
        • Pizzari T.
        • Timmins R.
        • et al.
        An evidence-based framework for strengthening exercises to prevent hamstring injury.
        Sports Med. 2018; 48: 251-267
        • Bourne M.N.
        • Opar D.A.
        • Williams M.D.
        • et al.
        Eccentric knee flexor strength and risk of hamstring injuries in rugby union: a prospective study.
        Am J Sports Med. 2015; 43: 2663-2670https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546515599633
        • Carey D.L.
        • Ong K.
        • Whiteley R.
        • et al.
        Predictive modelling of training loads and injury in Australian football.
        Int J Comput Sci Sport. 2018; 17: 49-66
        • Duhig S.
        • Williams M.
        • Ferguson C.
        • et al.
        High intensity running increases risk of hamstring strain injury in elite Australian rules footballers.
        J Sci Med Sport. 2015; 19: e73
        • Eirale C.
        • Farooq A.
        • Smiley F.A.
        • et al.
        Epidemiology of football injuries in Asia: a prospective study in Qatar.
        J Sci Med Sport. 2013; 16: 113-117https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2012.07.001
        • Hägglund M.
        • Waldén M.
        • Ekstrand J.
        Previous injury as a risk factor for injury in elite football: a prospective study over two consecutive seasons.
        Br J Sports Med. 2006; 40 ([published Online First: 07/19]): 767-772https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2006.026609
        • Hickey J.
        • Shield A.J.
        • Williams M.D.
        • et al.
        The financial cost of hamstring strain injuries in the Australian Football League.
        Br J Sports Med. 2014; 48: 837-841
        • Kellis E.
        • Galanis N.
        • Natsis K.
        • et al.
        Validity of architectural properties of the hamstring muscles: correlation of ultrasound findings with cadaveric dissection.
        J Biomech. 2009; 42: 2549-2554https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2009.07.011
        • Lee J.W.Y.
        • Cai M.-J.
        • Yung P.S.H.
        • et al.
        Reliability, validity, and sensitivity of a novel smartphone-based eccentric hamstring strength test in professional football players.
        Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2018; 13: 620-624
        • Opar D.
        • Williams M.
        • Timmins R.
        • et al.
        Nordic hamstring exercise weakness is a risk factor for hamstring strain injury in elite Australian football: a prospective cohort study.
        J Sci Med Sport. 2014; 18: e140
        • Presland J.D.
        • Timmins R.G.
        • Bourne M.N.
        • et al.
        The effect of Nordic hamstring exercise training volume on biceps femoris long head architectural adaptation.
        Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2018; 28: 1775-1783
        • Rosenberg M.
        • Lester L.
        • Peeling P.
        • et al.
        Preseason workload volume and high-risk periods for noncontact injury across multiple Australian football league seasons.
        J Strength Cond Res. 2017; 31: 1821-1829
        • Ruddy J.
        • Shield A.
        • Maniar N.
        • et al.
        Predicting hamstring strain injury incidence in elite Australian footballers.
        J Sci Med Sport. 2017; 20: 10-11
        • Ruddy J.
        • Timmins R.
        • Pollard C.
        • et al.
        The association between running exposure and the risk of hamstring strain injury in elite Australian footballers.
        J Sci Med Sport. 2017; 20: e94-e95
        • Ruddy J.D.
        • Pollard C.W.
        • Timmins R.G.
        • et al.
        Running exposure is associated with the risk of hamstring strain injury in elite Australian footballers.
        Br J Sports Med. 2018; 52 ([published Online First: 2016/11/26]): 919-928https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2016-096777
        • Sconce E.
        • Jones P.
        • Turner E.
        • et al.
        The validity of the Nordic hamstring lower for a field-based assessment of eccentric hamstring strength.
        J Sport Rehabil. 2015; 24: 13-20
        • Shield A.J.
        • Bourne M.N.
        hamstring injury prevention practices in elite sport: evidence for eccentric strength vs. lumbo-pelvic training.
        Sports Med. 2018; 48: 513-524
        • Stares J.
        • Dawson B.
        • Peeling P.
        • et al.
        Identifying high risk loading conditions for in-season injury in elite Australian football players.
        J Sci Med Sport. 2018; 21: 46-51
        • Taberner M.
        • Cohen D.D.
        Physical preparation of the football player with an intramuscular hamstring tendon tear: clinical perspective with video demonstrations.
        Br J Sports Med. 2018; 52: 1275
        • Timmins R.
        • Shield A.
        • Williams M.
        • et al.
        Is there evidence to support the use of the angle of peak torque as a marker of hamstring injury and re-injury risk?.
        Sports Med. 2016; 46: 7-13
        • Timmins R.G.
        • Bourne M.N.
        • Shield A.J.
        • et al.
        Short biceps femoris fascicles and eccentric knee flexor weakness increase the risk of hamstring injury in elite football (soccer): a prospective cohort study.
        Br J Sports Med. 2016; 50 ([published Online First: 2015/12/18]): 1524-1535https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2015-095362
        • Timmins R.G.
        • Ruddy J.D.
        • Presland J.
        • et al.
        Architectural changes of the biceps femoris long head after concentric or eccentric training.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016; 48: 499-508
        • Timmins R.G.
        • Shield A.J.
        • Williams M.D.
        • et al.
        Biceps femoris long head architecture: a reliability and retrospective injury study.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015; 47 ([published Online First: 2014/09/11]): 905-913https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000000507
        • Varley M.C.
        • Fairweather I.H.
        • Aughey R.J.
        Validity and reliability of GPS for measuring instantaneous velocity during acceleration, deceleration, and constant motion.
        J Sports Sci. 2012; 30: 121-127
        • Verrall G.M.
        • Kalairajah Y.
        • Slavotinek J.P.
        • et al.
        Assessment of player performance following return to sport after hamstring muscle strain injury.
        J Sci Med Sport. 2006; 9: 87-90