Motor control and strength as predictors of hamstring injury in elite players of Australian football

Matt Cameron*, Roger Adams, Christopher Maher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. To investigate motor control as a possible contributing factor in hamstring injuries using a test movement similar to the injury-critical phase during running. Leg swing movement discrimination (MD), thigh muscle strength as tested by Cybex isokinetic dynamometry and previous hamstring injury history were all assessed to determine any association with subsequent hamstring injury. Design. Prospective and retrospective observational and analytical cohort study. Setting. A professional football club and a university laboratory. Participants. Twenty elite level players of Australian football. Results. In the 2 years prior to testing, 7 subjects had sustained a hamstring injury. At the time of testing, there were no significant differences between subjects never injured and those previously injured. In the two years following testing, 6 players sustained a hamstring injury. Mean MD score and concentric hamstring-to-quadriceps strength ratio of subsequently injured subjects were significantly worse than those uninjured (p < 0.05). Optimum cutoffs on these measures were determined. Conclusion. Both a lower MD ability score for the backward swinging leg and an imbalance of thigh muscle strength were predictive of hamstring injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Therapy in Sport
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Hamstrings
  • Injury
  • Motor control
  • Movement discrimination


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