Context: Despite the presence of various injury prevention programs, the rate of hamstring injuries and reinjuries is increasing in soccer, warranting the need for a soccer-specific rehabilitation program. Objective: To develop and validate a new, functional on-field program for the rehabilitation and readaptation of soccer players after a hamstring strain injury through a panel of experts; and determine the usefulness of the program through its application in professional soccer players. Design: A 13-item program was developed, which was validated by a panel of experts and later applied to professional soccer players. Setting: Soccer training ground. Participants: Fifteen strength and conditioning and rehabilitation fitness coaches with a professional experience of 15.40 (1.57) years in elite clubs and national teams in Europe validated the program. The program was later applied to 19 professional soccer players of the Spanish First Division (La Liga). Interventions: Once a player sustained a clinically diagnosed injury, the player would first be subject to mobilization and strengthening exercises in the gym after undergoing treatment by percutaneous needle electrolysis. The player would then complete an on-field readaptation program consisting of 13 drills arranged in a progressive manner in terms of complexity. The drills integrated various aspects of repeated sprint abilities, retraining and reeducation of biomechanical patterns, and neuromuscular control of the core and lower limbs. Main Outcome Measures: Aiken’s V for each item of the program and number of days taken by the players to return to play. Results: The experts evaluated all items of the program very highly, as seen from Aiken’s V values between 0.78 and 0.98 (0.63–0.99) for all drills, while the return to play was in 22.42 (2.32) days. Conclusion: This program has the potential to help a player suffering from a hamstring strain injury to adapt to real-match conditions in the readaptation phase through the application of sports-specific drills that were very similar to the different injury mechanisms.
Sergio Jiménez-Rubio, Archit Navandar, Jesús Rivilla-García and Victor Paredes-Hernández
Jorge E. Morais, Sérgio Jesus, Vasco Lopes, Nuno Garrido, António Silva, Daniel Marinho and Tiago M. Barbosa
The aim of this study was to develop a structural equation model (i.e., a confirmatory technique that analyzes relationships among observed variables) for young swimmer performance based on selected kinematic, anthropometric and hydrodynamic variables. A total of 114 subjects (73 boys and 41 girls of mean age of 12.31 ± 1.09 years; 47.91 ± 10.81 kg body mass; 156.57 ± 10.90 cm height and Tanner stages 1–2) were evaluated. The variables assessed were the: (i) 100 [m] freestyle performance; (ii) stroke index; (iii) speed fluctuation; (iv) stroke distance; (v) active drag; (vi) arm span and; (vii) hand surface area. All paths were significant (p < .05). However, in deleting the path between the hand surface area and the stroke index, the model goodness-of-fit significantly improved. Swimming performance in young swimmers appeared to be dependent on swimming efficiency (i.e., stroke index), which is determined by the remaining variables assessed, except for the hand surface area. Therefore, young swimmer coaches and practitioners should design training programs with a focus on technical training enhancement (i.e., improving swimming efficiency).