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  • Author: Benjamin Drury x
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Benjamin Drury, Thomas Green, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo and Jason Moran

Purpose: This study examined the effects of a 6-week Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE) program in youth male soccer players of less mature (pre–peak height velocity [PHV]) or more mature (mid/post-PHV) status. Methods: Forty-eight participants were separated into pre-PHV (11.0 [0.9] y) or mid/post-PHV (13.9 [1.1]) groups and further divided into experimental (EXP) and control groups with eccentric hamstring strength assessed (NordBord) both before and after the training program. Participants in the EXP groups completed a periodized NHE program performed once or twice weekly over a 6-week period. Results: The NHE program resulted in moderate and small increases in relative eccentric hamstring strength (in newtons per kilogram) in the pre-PHV EXP (d = 0.83 [0.03–1.68]) and mid-PHV EXP (d = 0.53 [−0.06 to 1.12]) groups, respectively. Moderate increases in the same measure were also seen in the between-groups analyses in the pre-PHV (d = 1.03 [0.23–1.84]) and mid-PHV (d = 0.87 [0.22–1.51]) groups, with a greater effect observed in the former. Conclusion: The results from this study demonstrate that a 6-week NHE program can improve eccentric hamstring strength in male youth soccer players, with less-mature players achieving mostly greater benefits. The findings from this study can aid in the training prescription of NHE in youth male soccer players.