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Programming Nordic Curls into pre-season programs

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Hamstring injuries are one of the most common injuries in high speed sports, such as AFL, soccer and rugby. Hamstring injuries result in high amounts of game time loss across these sports. The Nordic Hamstring curl is one exercise that has consistently been shown to reduce the rate of hamstring injuries by up to 50% (Van Dyk, Behan & Whiteley, 2019).

More recent studies show that a low volume loading of the nordic hamstring curl is just as effective as a high volume loading in reducing injury risk and improving change of direction performance (Siddle et al 2022). The benefits of a low volume training load for this exercise is reduced muscle soreness, and reduced time to complete.

Follow this protocol & put it into your pre-season programming to reap the rewards: Week 1-2 = 6 reps x 4 sets, 2x per week Week 3-8 = 4 reps x 2 sets, 2x per week (Siddle et al 2022)

Paper for reference – A low-volume nordic hamstring curl programme improves change of direction ability, despite no architectural, strength or speed adaptations in elite youth soccer players - ; Siddle et al 2022

Including the nordic hamstring exercise in injury prevention programmes halves the rate of hamstring injuries: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 8459 athletes ; Van Dyk, Behan & Whiteley 2019

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