School of Medical and Health Sciences
A common pre-season injury prevention assessment conducted by professional football clubs is the hamstring-to-quadriceps (H:Q) strength ratio calculated by peak torque (PT). However, it is debatable whether players that present low pre-season H:Q ratios are more susceptible to further sustaining in-season hamstring strain injuries (HSI). Based upon retrospective data from a Brazilian Serie A football squad, a particular season came to our attention as ten out of seventeen (~59%) professional male football players sustained HSI. Therefore, we examined the pre-season H:Q ratios of these players. H:Q conventional (CR) and functional (FR) ratios, and the respective knee extensor/flexor PT from the limbs of players further sustaining in-season HSI (injured players, IP) were compared to the proportional number of dominant/non-dominant limbs from uninjured players (UP) in the squad. FR and CR were ~18–22% lower (p < 0.01), whereas quadriceps concentric PT was ~25% greater for IP than UP (p = 0.002). Low scores of FR and CR were correlated (p < 0.01) with high levels of quadriceps concentric PT (r = −0.66 to −0.77). In conclusion, players who sustained in-season HSI had lower pre-season FR and CR compared to UP, which appears to be associated with higher levels of quadriceps concentric torque than hamstring concentric or eccentric torque.
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