Nordic hamstring exercise training alters knee joint kinematics and hamstring activation patterns in young men

Eamonn Delahunt, Mark McGroarty, Giuseppe De Vito, Massimiliano Ditroilo
European Journal of Applied Physiology 2016, 116 (4): 663-72

PURPOSE: To investigate the kinematic and muscle activation adaptations during performance of the Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE) to a 6-week eccentric hamstring training programme using the NHE as the sole mode of exercise.

METHODS: Twenty-nine healthy males were randomly allocated to a control (CG) or intervention (IG) group. The IG participated in a 6-week eccentric hamstring exercise programme using the NHE.

RESULTS: The findings of the present study were that a 6-week eccentric hamstring training programme improved eccentric hamstring muscle strength (202.4 vs. 177.4 nm, p = 0.0002, Cohen's d = 0.97) and optimized kinematic (longer control of the forward fall component of the NHE, 68.1° vs. 73.7°, p = 0.022, Cohen's d = 0.90) and neuromuscular parameters (increased electromyographic activity of the hamstrings, 83.2 vs. 56.6 % and 92.0 vs. 54.2 %, p < 0.05, Cohen's d > 1.25) associated with NHE performance.

CONCLUSION: This study provides some insight into potential mechanisms by which an eccentric hamstring exercise programme utilizing the NHE as the mode of exercise may result in an improvement in hamstring muscle control during eccentric contractions.

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