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Purpose:

To evaluate the effect of simulated soccer on the hamstrings eccentric torque-angle profile and angle of peak torque (APTeccH), and on the hamstrings:quadriceps torque ratio at specific joint angles (ASHecc:Qcon).

Methods:

The authors assessed dominant-limb isokinetic concentric and eccentric knee flexion and concentric knee extension at 120°/s in 9 semiprofessional male soccer players immediately before and after they completed the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST).

Results:

The LIST resulted in significant decreases in eccentric hamstrings torque at 60°, 50°, and 10° and a significant (21.8%) decrease in ASHecc:Qcon at 10° (P < .05). APTeccH increased from 7.1° ± 1.0° to 18.8° ± 4.2° (P < .05). Eccentric hamstrings peak torque significantly declined from 185.1 ± 70.4 N·m pre-LIST to 150.9 ± 58.5 N·m post-LIST (P = .002), but there were no significant changes in hamstrings or quadriceps concentric peak torque (P = .312, .169, respectively).

Conclusions:

Simulated soccer results in a selective loss of eccentric hamstrings torque and hamstrings-to-quadriceps muscle balance at an extended joint position and a shift in the eccentric hamstrings APT to a shorter length, changes that could increase vulnerability to hamstrings injury. These findings suggest that injury-risk screening could be improved by evaluating the eccentric hamstrings torque-angle profile and hamstrings strength-endurance and that the development of hamstrings fatigue resistance and long-length eccentric strength may reduce injury incidence.

Cohen is with the Masira Institute, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Santander (UDES), Bucaramanga, Colombia. Zhao and Okwera are with the Faculty of Life Sciences, London Metropolitan University, London, UK. Matthews is with the School of Health Sciences, Salford University, Salford, UK. Delextrat is with the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK. Address author correspondence to Daniel Cohen at danielcohen1971@gmail.com.