Association between eccentric knee flexor strength and hamstring injury risk in 185 elite Gaelic football players Academic Article uri icon


  • Hamstring strains are the most common time-loss injury in elite Gaelic football affecting over 20% of players per season. Thus, there is a need to identify factors contributing to the onset of hamstring injuries in order to inform injury risk management strategies. The current study investigated whether eccentric knee flexor strength and between-limb imbalances were associated with increased risk of sustaining a time-loss hamstring injury in elite Gaelic football players. A total of 185 elite male players (26.9 ± 2.7 years, 86.4 ± 6.2 kg, 183.4 ± 5.6) were prospectively followed for 12 weeks from the day of testing. Injury data were provided by the team medical staff. Twenty-eight players (16%) sustained a time-loss hamstring injury following testing. Players that did not sustain a hamstring injury had greater average between-limb asymmetries (uninjured = 9.1%, 95% CI 7.8-10.1; injured = 5.1%, 95% CI 3.7-6.7; P = .001). Eccentric knee flexor strength profiles were not associated with increased or decreased risk of sustaining a hamstring injury and did not alter the post-test probability of sustaining a hamstring injury across the investigation period. These findings do not support the use of eccentric knee flexor strength metrics in managing hamstring injury risk in elite male Gaelic football players.

publication date

  • 2020