Muscle activation patterns in the Nordic hamstring exercise: Impact of prior strain injury

Bourne, M. N., Opar, D. A., Williams, M. D., Al Najjar, A. and Shield, A. J. (2016) Muscle activation patterns in the Nordic hamstring exercise: Impact of prior strain injury. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 26 6: 666-674. doi:10.1111/sms.12494

Author Bourne, M. N.
Opar, D. A.
Williams, M. D.
Al Najjar, A.
Shield, A. J.
Title Muscle activation patterns in the Nordic hamstring exercise: Impact of prior strain injury
Journal name Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0905-7188
Publication date 2016-06
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/sms.12494
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 26
Issue 6
Start page 666
End page 674
Total pages 9
Place of publication West Sussex United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract This study aimed to determine: (a) the spatial patterns of hamstring activation during the Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE); (b) whether previously injured hamstrings display activation deficits during the NHE; and (c) whether previously injured hamstrings exhibit altered cross-sectional area (CSA). Ten healthy, recreationally active men with a history of unilateral hamstring strain injury underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging of their thighs before and after six sets of 10 repetitions of the NHE. Transverse (T2) relaxation times of all hamstring muscles [biceps femoris long head (BFlh); biceps femoris short head (BFsh); semitendinosus (ST); semimembranosus (SM)] were measured at rest and immediately after the NHE and CSA was measured at rest. For the uninjured limb, the ST's percentage increase in T2 with exercise was 16.8%, 15.8%, and 20.2% greater than the increases exhibited by the BFlh, BFsh, and SM, respectively (P < 0.002 for all). Previously injured hamstring muscles (n = 10) displayed significantly smaller increases in T2 post-exercise than the homonymous muscles in the uninjured contralateral limb (mean difference −7.2%, P = 0.001). No muscles displayed significant between-limb differences in CSA. During the NHE, the ST is preferentially activated and previously injured hamstring muscles display chronic activation deficits compared with uninjured contralateral muscles.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
Centre for Advanced Imaging Publications
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