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Prevention of Athletic Injuries

A study from Sweden shows that preseason strength training for the hamstring muscles prevents injuries to the muscle in the back of the upper legs.

Hamstring tears are very common soccer injuries, so players from two of the best soccer teams in Sweden were divided into two groups; one group received specific hamstring training of 10 weeks of twice a week of using a special device to overload the hamstrings eccentrically. The trained group had less than one third the hamstring injuries and also had greater improvement in hamstring strength and running speed. While stretching has been shown to help athletes become stronger, it has not been shown to prevent injuries. Muscles are injured because the force on them is greater than their inherent strength, so they tear. Resistance training makes muscles stronger so that they can withstand greater forces and therefore helps prevent injuries.

Hamstring injury occurrence in elite soccer players after preseason strength training with eccentric overload. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 2003, Vol 13, Iss 4, pp 244-250. C Askling, J Karlsson, A Thorstensson. Askling C, Univ Coll Phys Educ & Sports, Dept Hlth & Sport Sci, Box 5626, SE-11486 Stockholm, SWEDEN

Checked 8/31/08

May 11th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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