Nordic Hamstring Lowers – A Magic Pill?

I saw this interesting abstract today about Nordic hamstring lowers and how they’ve been shown to reduce the incidence of hamstring injury by 70%. I don’t have the full article (I’d be interested to read if anybody did), but anytime percentages are used when discussing data it can be misleading without raw numbers accompanying them.

The abstract to this article can be found HERE.

Lately, Nordic hamstring lowers have been synonymous with soccer strength training. Sort of like a magic pill for hamstring health. While I think they’re a fine exercise and they’ve been proven in many studies, I still feel that the exercise is just one of many that has the ability to increase hamstring strength.

Here’s another abstract that looks at more conventional exercises – Muscle activation during various hamstring exercises.

From a team dynamic standpoint, I can see why they may be the best (or easiest) choice. You don’t need any glute-ham machine or weights and they’re not hard to teach. The only thing you need is a partner. Nordic hamstring lowers may be an easy choice on-field where you may not have access to weights. But, when you do have access to weights, you can use RDLs (single leg or traditional), glute-ham raises, kettlebell swings or exercises that may be considered a little less direct like lunge and squat derivatives.

The issue of incidence of hamstring injuries could just potentially be the lack of hamstring strength, not necessarily what exercise is chosen.

 

 

 

 

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John Grace is a coach at Athletic Lab Sports Performance Training Center in Cary, NC - USA. John has his CSCS, USAW Level 1 certification, USATF Level 1 certification and has worked as an assistant fitness coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS.