The Relationship between Eccentric Hamstring Strength and Dynamic Stability in Elite Academy Footballers

Rhodes, David orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4224-1959, Jeffrey, Josh, Maden-Wilkinson, Joe, Reedy, Antony, Morehead, Erin Kristen orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4096-0220, Kiely, John orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9817-0224, Birdsall, Daniel, Carling, Christopher orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7456-3493 and Alexander, Jill orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6492-1621 (2021) The Relationship between Eccentric Hamstring Strength and Dynamic Stability in Elite Academy Footballers. Science and Medicine in Football, 5 (1). pp. 48-54. ISSN 2473-3938

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Previous research describes dynamic stability and functional strength as key aetiological risk factors associated with lower limb non-contact musculoskeletal injury. Due to the multi factorial nature of injury risk, relationships between the two factors will inform injury management and training design.

Fifty-nine elite academy footballers from two English premier league category 1-status academies completed the study. All players completed measures of eccentric hamstring strength and dynamic stability. Relationships between directional stability (Anteroposterior (Ant), Posteromedial (PM) and Posterolateral (PL)) and eccentric strength metrics (PkT, AvT, PkF, AvF and Ɵ) bilaterally were identified for analysis.

Significant correlations were identified bilaterally for functional hamstring strength metrics and PM and PL stability (P ≤. 0.05). No significant relationships were identified between anterior stability and eccentric hamstring strength parameters (P > 0.05).

Eccentric hamstring strength has a positive influence on directional stability through two planes, PM and PL. The lack of influence of eccentric hamstring strength on Ant directional stability could be attributed to increased ACL risk. Careful consideration of the significance of the relationships between eccentric hamstring strength and directional stability must be given when quantifying injury risk in elite academy footballers.

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