Effect of high-speed running on hamstring strain injury risk

Duhig, Steven, Shield, Anthony, Opar, David A., Gabbett, Tim J., Ferguson, Cameron, & Williams, Morgan (2016) Effect of high-speed running on hamstring strain injury risk. British Journal of Sports Medicine. (In Press)

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  • Hamstring strain injuries (HSI) are common within the Australian Football League (AFL) with most occurring during high-speed running (HSR). Therefore, this study investigated possible relationships between mean session running distances, session ratings of perceived exertion (s-RPE) and HSIs in AFL footballers.


  • Global positioning systems (GPS) derived running distances and s-RPE for all matches and training sessions over two AFL seasons were obtained from one AFL team. All HSIs were documented and each player’s running distances and s-RPE were standardised to their 2-yearly session average, then compared between injured and uninjured players in the four weeks (week -1, -2, -3, -4) preceding each injury.


  • Higher than ‘typical’ (i.e., Z = 0) HSR session means were associated with a greater likelihood of HSI (week -1 OR = 6.44, 95%CI = 2.99 to 14.41; p<0.001; summed weeks -1 and -2 OR = 3.06, 95%CI = 2.03 – 4.75, p<0.001; summed weeks -1, -2 and -3 OR = 2.22, 95%CI = 1.66 – 3.04, p<0.001; and summed weeks -1, -2, -3 and -4 OR = 1.96, 95%CI = 1.54 - 2.51, p<0.001). However, trivial differences were observed between injured and uninjured groups for standardised s-RPE, total distance travelled and distances covered whilst accelerating and decelerating. With increasing AFL experience there was a decrease in injury risk (OR = 0.77; 95%CI = 0.57 – 0.97; p=0.02). Furthermore, modelling of HSR data indicated that reducing mean distances in the week prior to injury may decrease the probability of HSI.


  • Exposing players to transient increases in HSR distances above their 2-yearly session average increased the odds of HSI. However, reducing HSR in the week prior to hamstring strain injury may offset HSI risk. Future work should investigate the proposed model’s efficacy in HSI reduction.

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ID Code: 96093
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Hamstrings, Injury, High speed running, GPS, Training load
DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2015-095679
ISSN: 0306-3674
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Article author (or their employer) 2016. Produced by BMJ Publishing Group Ltd under licence.
Deposited On: 14 Jun 2016 22:18
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2016 18:52

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