The predictive validity of a single leg bridge test for hamstring injuries in Australian rules football players
Kicking sports are vulnerable to their high prevalence of hamstring muscle strain injuries (HMSI). Whilst the evidence is inconclusive regarding identifiable risk factors for hamstring injury, conventional methods routinely use muscle strength as a predictor. Nevertheless, evaluation of the hamstring in a more functional manner, similar to that during terminal swing, along with endurance may provide a more reliable outcome for assessing risk. The current study examined if reduced hamstring muscle strength measured via the single-leg hamstring bridge (SLHB) was a risk factor or HMSI.
482 athletes completed a SLHB assessment pre-season, and were prospectively followed throughout the entire season. The results identified an association between poor SLHB scores and right-sided hamstring injury. Other factors such as increased age and previous ipsilateral hamstring or knee injury rendered athletes more vulnerable to HMSI.
Whilst the study did suffer from a low injury rate, it can be concluded that the SLHB test could provide a useful screen to identify athletes more susceptible to sustaining a HMSI. > From: Freckleton et al., Br J Sports Med 48 (2014)713-717.