Kinematic and electromyographic analysis of the Askling L-Protocol for hamstring training Academic Article uri icon


  • Hamstring injuries are common in field sport athletes. Eccentric strength training of the hamstring muscles is an integral component of rehabilitation programs. The Askling L-Protocol comprises three exercises [extender; diver; glider] that load the hamstrings during eccentric activity. When compared to a conventional exercise-based rehabilitation program, the Askling L-Protocol has been shown to reduce the time to return to sport following hamstring injury and prevalence of injury recurrence. Nevertheless, the mechanisms behind its efficacy have yet to be studied. In this work, we conducted a kinematic and electromyographic analysis of the exercises of the Askling L-Protocol. Eleven healthy individuals performed each of the exercises while electromyographic data from four muscles (including two hamstring muscles) were recorded. Hip and knee angular displacements and velocities were also synchronously recorded using a motion capture system. We found that the L-Protocol elicits a maximal contraction (up to 60% of the MVC in the glider exercise) in the hamstring muscles at a work point similar to the swing phase of running (around 62 degrees hip flexion and 23 degrees knee flexion). No difference in the levels of activation of the hamstrings was observed between the diver and glider, regardless of the different functional role they had in the two exercises. During the extender, the hamstring muscles are stretched and minimally engaged. Finally, co-activation analysis highlighted that through the combination of passive stretch and active eccentric contraction, the hamstrings are trained to co-activate using similar structural modules employed differentially to drive the movement or stabilize it.

publication date

  • 2018