Hamstring injuries are the most common muscle injury in amateur and professional soccer. Most hamstring injuries occur in the late swing phase, when the hamstring undergoes a stretch-shortening cycle and the hamstring does a significant amount of eccentric work. The incidence of these injuries has not decreased despite there being effective injury prevention programmes focusing on improving eccentric hamstring strength. As this might be because of poor compliance, a more functional injury prevention exercise programme that focuses on the stretch-shortening cycle might facilitate compliance. In this study, a bounding exercise programme consisting of functional plyometric exercises is being evaluated.
A cluster-randomized controlled trial (RCT). Male amateur soccer teams (players aged 18–45 years) have been randomly allocated to intervention and control groups. Both groups are continuing regular soccer training and the intervention group is additionally performing a 12-week bounding exercise programme (BEP), consisting of a gradual build up and maintenance programme for the entire soccer season. The primary outcome is hamstring injury incidence. Secondary outcome is compliance with the BEP during the soccer season and 3 months thereafter.
Despite effective hamstring injury prevention programmes, the incidence of these injuries remains high in soccer. As poor compliance with these programmes may be an issue, a new plyometric exercise programme may encourage long-term compliance and is expected to enhance sprinting and jumping performance besides preventing hamstring injuries.