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Single-Leg Roman Chair Hold Is More Effective Than the Nordic Hamstring Curl in Improving Hamstring Strength-Endurance in Gaelic Footballers With Previous Hamstring Injury

Macdonald, Ben1; O'Neill, John2; Pollock, Noel3; Van Hooren, Bas4,5

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: December 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 12 - p 3302–3308
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002526
Original Research

Macdonald, B, O'Neill, J, Pollock, N, and Van Hooren, B. Single-leg Roman chair hold is more effective than the Nordic hamstring curl in improving hamstring strength-endurance in Gaelic footballers with previous hamstring injury. J Strength Cond Res 33(12): 3302–3308, 2019—Poor hamstring strength-endurance is a risk factor for hamstring injuries. This study investigated the effectiveness of the single-leg Roman hold and Nordic hamstring curl in improving hamstring strength-endurance. Twelve Gaelic footballers (mean ± SD age, height, and mass were 25.17 ± 3.46 years, 179.25 ± 5.88 cm, 85.75 ± 4.75 kg, respectively) with a history of hamstring injury were randomized into 2 groups that performed 6 weeks of either Nordic hamstring curl or single-leg Roman chair hold training. The single-leg hamstring bridge (SLHB) was measured before and after intervention. The Roman chair group showed a very likely moderate magnitude improvement on SLHB performance for both legs (23.7% for the previously injured leg [90% confidence interval 9.6–39.6%] and 16.9% for the noninjured leg [6.2–28.8%]). The Nordic curl group showed a likely trivial change in SLHB performance for the noninjured leg (−2.1% [−6.7 to 2.6%]) and an unclear, but possibly trivial change for the previously injured leg (0.3% [−5.6 to 6.6%]). The Roman chair group improved very likely more with a moderate magnitude in both the noninjured (19.5% [8.0–32.2%]) and the previously injured leg (23.3% [8.5–40.0%]) compared with the Nordic curl group. This study demonstrated that 6-week single-leg Roman chair training substantially improved SLHB performance, suggesting that it may be an efficacious strategy to mitigate hamstring (re-) injury risk. Conversely, 6-week Nordic curl training did not substantially improve SLHB performance, suggesting this may not be the intervention of choice for modifying this risk factor.

1British Athletics, National Performance Institute, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom;

2O'Neill Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic, Ballyconnell, County Cavan, Ireland;

3British Athletics, High Performance Center, Lee Valley, London, United Kingdom;

4Department of Human Movement Science, NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Center+, Maastricht, the Netherlands; and

5Institute of Sport Studies, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Eindhoven, the Netherlands

Address correspondence to Ben Macdonald,

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.