Effects of Nordic versus Sprint Exercise Program in Prevention of Hamstring Injuries in Football Players

Main Article Content

Sana Amjad
Tahir Hafeez
Hassan Javed
Hanan Azfar


Background: Hamstring strain injuries (HSI) are frequent in football and other high-speed running sports. Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE) has been found to increase eccentric hamstring strength and decrease the risk of hamstring strain injury (HSI). Sprint exercise, which includes maximal eccentric contractions, is supposed to engage the hamstrings and prevent HSI.

Objective: The aim of this randomized controlled trial was to compare the effectiveness of Nordic and sprint exercise programs in preventing hamstring injuries in football players.

Methods: The study involved 26 male football players aged 18-25 years, who exercised regularly for 2-3 times a week in the preceding 3 months. They were randomly divided into two groups. One group received Nordic exercise and conventional treatment, while the other group received sprint training exercises and conventional treatment. The duration of the program was 6 weeks, with two 30-minute sessions per week. The evaluation was based on the 40m sprint test and active knee extension test, which were measured using a goniometer. The 40m sprint was timed, and the active knee extension test measured the range of motion. The results were analyzed based on these measurements.

Results: The participants' average ages, heights, and weights were respectively 21.1538 1.91191, 1.74 0.029, and 74.8462 4.18275. Shapiro-Wilk test was applied showed data to be non-parametric distributed (P < 0.05). Wilcoxon and Mann Whitney tests were used to analyze the difference between pre- and post-treatment scores in the experimental and control groups. which were found to significanlty improved in experimental group, while both groups found to be improved significantly in a pre-post analysis, p value < 0.05.

Conclusion: Both Nordic and sprint exercise programs were effective in reducing the risk of hamstring injuries. However, the Nordic exercise program showed significantly greater improvement in preventing HSI in football players.

Article Details

How to Cite
Amjad, S., Hafeez, T., Javed , H., & Azfar, H. (2024). Effects of Nordic versus Sprint Exercise Program in Prevention of Hamstring Injuries in Football Players: . Journal of Health and Rehabilitation Research, 4(1), 1296–1301. https://doi.org/10.61919/jhrr.v4i1.198
Author Biographies

Sana Amjad, University of South Asia Lahore

University of South Asia Lahore

Tahir Hafeez, Bahawalpur Medical and Dental College Bahawalpur

Bahawalpur Medical and Dental College Bahawalpur

Hassan Javed , Senior Physiotherapist PSRD Hospital Lahore

Senior Physiotherapist PSRD Hospital Lahore

Hanan Azfar, Bhatti Hospital Gujranwala

Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Bhatti Hospital, Gujranwala


Elagizi A, Kachur S, Carbone S, Lavie CJ, Blair SN. A Review of Obesity, Physical Activity, and Cardiovascular Disease. Current obesity reports. 2020;9(4):571-81.

Miko HC, Zillmann N, Ring-Dimitriou S, Dorner TE, Titze S, Bauer R. [Effects of Physical Activity on Health]. Gesundheitswesen (Bundesverband der Arzte des Offentlichen Gesundheitsdienstes (Germany)). 2020;82(S 03):S184-s95.

Pudkasam S, Polman R, Pitcher M, Fisher M, Chinlumprasert N, Stojanovska L, et al. Physical activity and breast cancer survivors: Importance of adherence, motivational interviewing and psychological health. Maturitas. 2018;116:66-72.

Schuch FB, Vancampfort D. Physical activity, exercise, and mental disorders: it is time to move on. Trends in psychiatry and psychotherapy. 2021;43(3):177-84.

Lovell R, Knox M, Weston M, Siegler JC, Brennan S, Marshall PWM. Hamstring injury prevention in soccer: Before or after training? Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports. 2018;28(2):658-66.

Spiteri K, Broom D, Bekhet AH, de Caro JX, Laventure B, Grafton K. Barriers and Motivators of Physical Activity Participation in Middle-aged and Older-adults - A Systematic Review. Journal of aging and physical activity. 2019;27(4):929-44.

Zaman R, Hankir A, Jemni M. Lifestyle Factors and Mental Health. Psychiatria Danubina. 2019;31(Suppl 3):217-20.

Ishøi L, Hölmich P, Aagaard P, Thorborg K, Bandholm T, Serner A. Effects of the Nordic Hamstring exercise on sprint capacity in male football players: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of sports sciences. 2018;36(14):1663-72.

Mendiguchia J, Conceição F, Edouard P, Fonseca M, Pereira R, Lopes H, et al. Sprint versus isolated eccentric training: Comparative effects on hamstring architecture and performance in soccer players. PloS one. 2020;15(2):e0228283.

Raya-González J, Torres Martin L, Beato M, Rodríguez-Fernández A, Sanchez-Sanchez J. The effects of training based on Nordic hamstring and sprint exercises on measures of physical fitness and hamstring injury prevention in U19 male soccer players. Research in sports medicine (Print). 2021:1-16.

Biz C, Nicoletti P, Baldin G, Bragazzi NL, Crimì A, Ruggieri P. Hamstring Strain Injury (HSI) Prevention in Professional and Semi-Professional Football Teams: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2021;18(16).

Bourne MN, Duhig SJ, Timmins RG, Williams MD, Opar DA, Al Najjar A, et al. Impact of the Nordic hamstring and hip extension exercises on hamstring architecture and morphology: implications for injury prevention. British journal of sports medicine. 2017;51(5):469-77.

Bourne MN, Williams MD, Opar DA, Al Najjar A, Kerr GK, Shield AJ. Impact of exercise selection on hamstring muscle activation. British journal of sports medicine. 2017;51(13):1021-8.

Al Attar WSA, Soomro N, Sinclair PJ, Pappas E, Sanders RH. Effect of Injury Prevention Programs that Include the Nordic Hamstring Exercise on Hamstring Injury Rates in Soccer Players: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports medicine (Auckland, NZ). 2017;47(5):907-16.

Maniar N, Shield AJ, Williams MD, Timmins RG, Opar DA. Hamstring strength and flexibility after hamstring strain injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British journal of sports medicine. 2016;50(15):909-20.

Raya-Gonzalez J, Castillo D, Clemente FM. Injury prevention of hamstring injuries through exercise interventions. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness. 2021;61(9):1242-51.

Ribeiro-Alvares JB, Marques VB, Vaz MA, Baroni BM. Four Weeks of Nordic Hamstring Exercise Reduce Muscle Injury Risk Factors in Young Adults. Journal of strength and conditioning research. 2018;32(5):1254-62.

van der Horst N, Smits DW, Petersen J, Goedhart EA, Backx FJ. The preventive effect of the nordic hamstring exercise on hamstring injuries in amateur soccer players: a randomized controlled trial. The American journal of sports medicine. 2015;43(6):1316-23.

van Dyk N, Behan FP, Whiteley R. Including the Nordic hamstring exercise in injury prevention programmes halves the rate of hamstring injuries: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 8459 athletes. British journal of sports medicine. 2019;53(21):1362-70.

Rumpf MC, Lockie RG, Cronin JB, Jalilvand F. Effect of Different Sprint Training Methods on Sprint Performance Over Various Distances: A Brief Review. Journal of strength and conditioning research. 2016;30(6):1767-85.

Ramirez-Campillo R, García-Hermoso A, Moran J, Chaabene H, Negra Y, Scanlan AT. The effects of plyometric jump training on physical fitness attributes in basketball players: A meta-analysis. Journal of sport and health science. 2022;11(6):656-70.

Lesinski M, Prieske O, Granacher U. Effects and dose-response relationships of resistance training on physical performance in youth athletes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British journal of sports medicine. 2016;50(13):781-95.

Seymore KD, Domire ZJ, DeVita P, Rider PM, Kulas AS. The effect of Nordic hamstring strength training on muscle architecture, stiffness, and strength. European journal of applied physiology. 2017;117(5):943-53.

Alt T, Severin J, Schmidt M. Quo Vadis Nordic Hamstring Exercise-Related Research?-A Scoping Review Revealing the Need for Improved Methodology and Reporting. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2022;19(18).

Shalaj I, Gjaka M, Bachl N, Wessner B, Tschan H, Tishukaj F. Potential prognostic factors for hamstring muscle injury in elite male soccer players: A prospective study. PloS one. 2020;15(11):e0241127.

Opar DA, Williams MD, Timmins RG, Hickey J, Duhig SJ, Shield AJ. Eccentric hamstring strength and hamstring injury risk in Australian footballers. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2015;47(4):857-65.

Opar DA, Timmins RG, Behan FP, Hickey JT, van Dyk N, Price K, et al. Is Pre-season Eccentric Strength Testing During the Nordic Hamstring Exercise Associated with Future Hamstring Strain Injury? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Sports medicine (Auckland, NZ). 2021;51(9):1935-45.

Lovell R, Siegler JC, Knox M, Brennan S, Marshall PW. Acute neuromuscular and performance responses to Nordic hamstring exercises completed before or after football training. Journal of sports sciences. 2016;34(24):2286-94.

de Lacey J, Brughelli ME, McGuigan MR, Hansen KT. Strength, speed and power characteristics of elite rugby league players. Journal of strength and conditioning research. 2014;28(8):2372-5.

Zimmermann HB, Costa FE, Sakugawa R, MacIntosh B, Diefenthaeler F, Dal Pupo J. Plyometric exercise enhances twitch contractile properties but fails to improve voluntary rate of torque development in highly trained sprint athletes. European journal of sport science. 2022;22(6):857-66.

Bichler CS, Niedermeier M, Hüfner K, Gálffy M, Gostner JM, Nelles P, et al. Climbing as an Add-On Treatment Option for Patients with Severe Anxiety Disorders and PTSD: Feasibility Analysis and First Results of a Randomized Controlled Longitudinal Clinical Pilot Trial. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2022;19(18).

Nagyova I, Jendrichovsky M, Kucinsky R, Lachytova M, Rus V. Effects of Nordic walking on cardiovascular performance and quality of life in coronary artery disease. European journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine. 2020;56(5):616-24.

Emmonds S, Nicholson G, Begg C, Jones B, Bissas A. Importance of Physical Qualities for Speed and Change of Direction Ability in Elite Female Soccer Players. Journal of strength and conditioning research. 2019;33(6):1669-77.

Wilke J, Mohr L, Yuki G, Bhundoo AK, Jiménez-Pavón D, Laiño F, et al. Train at home, but not alone: a randomised controlled multicentre trial assessing the effects of live-streamed tele-exercise during COVID-19-related lockdowns. British journal of sports medicine. 2022;56(12):667-75.

Piotrowicz E, Zieliński T, Bodalski R, Rywik T, Dobraszkiewicz-Wasilewska B, Sobieszczańska-Małek M, et al. Home-based telemonitored Nordic walking training is well accepted, safe, effective and has high adherence among heart failure patients, including those with cardiovascular implantable electronic devices: a randomised controlled study. European journal of preventive cardiology. 2015;22(11):1368-77.

Ochman M, Maruszewski M, Latos M, Jastrzębski D, Wojarski J, Karolak W, et al. Nordic Walking in Pulmonary Rehabilitation of Patients Referred for Lung Transplantation. Transplantation proceedings. 2018;50(7):2059-63.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>