Association between maximal hamstring strength and hamstring muscle pre-activity during a movement associated with non-contact ACL injury

Rasmus Skov Husted, Jesper Bencke, Kristian Thorborg, Thomas Quaade Bandholm, Per Hölmich, Lars Louis Andersen, Grethe Myklebust, Bjørn Gliese, Hanne Bloch Lauridsen, Per Aagaard, Mette Kreutzfeldt Zebis

Abstract

Introduction
Reduced hamstring pre-activity during side-cutting may predispose for non-contact ACL injury. During the last decade resistance training of the lower limb muscles has become an integral part of ACL injury prevention in e.g. soccer and handball. However, it is not known whether a strong hamstring (ACL-agonist) musculature is associated with a high level of hamstring muscle pre-activity during high risk movements such as side-cutting. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between hamstring muscle pre-activity recorded during a standardized sidecutting maneuver and maximal isometric hamstring muscle strength.
Material and Methods
Eighty-five female athletes (17 ± 1 yrs) were screened for neuromuscular pre-activity in medial (ST) and lateral (BF) hamstring muscle during a sidecutting maneuver. Maximal hamstring muscle strength [N/kg BW] (MVC) was measured in a static dynamometer. Neuromuscular activity calculated as average EMG amplitude obtained during side-cutting in the 10 ms interval prior to initial contact (IC) was normalized to peak EMG amplitude obtained during MVC. The correlation between % EMG pre-activity (mean of ST and BF) and MVC was evaluated by Spearman rank correlation analysis.
Results
The correlation coefficient (rs) between hamstring pre-landing EMG activity and MVC was 0.109 (P=0.319).
Conclusion
No direct association was observed between preparatory hamstring muscle activity and MVC. This indicates that high muscle strength may not per se translate into high levels of muscle pre-activity during movements like the sidecutting maneuver. Thus, other exercise modalities (i.e. neuromuscular training) are needed to optimize hamstring muscle pre-activity during movements associated with non-contact ACL injury.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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