A gradual build up to high-speed running is best for minimising hamstring injuries in AFL players, QUT research has found.
“A hamstring strain is one of the most common injuries in AFL and this is the first study to investigate relationships between them and athlete running distances,” said QUT PhD researcher Steven Duhig.
“We found players who ran significantly more than their average in the four weeks prior to injury had a greater risk of hamstring injury strain than players who remained on their usual workload,” Mr Duhig said.
The study used GPS data to track how much AFL players from the Gold Coast SUNS team ran at high-speed in training and matches.
Mr Duhig, who is also Gold Coast SUNS Academy High Performance Manager, said it was interesting to find players with less experience were more at risk than veterans.
“There are a few reasons that could explain this. It may be older players are monitored more closely, or perhaps they have built up resilience against the high training loads they are exposed to and therefore able to cope,” he said.
Dr Anthony Shield, from QUT’s School – Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, said the findings were further evidence against rushing players back from injury.
“After injury, for a player to suddenly return to the level of others in the group is a potential problem,” he said.
You can read more about the QUT study here. Story credit: Queensland University of Technology Australia newsroom.
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