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Proximal neuromuscular control may be effective in hamstring prevention and i.e. high speed running optimization because building up pre tension and isometric muscle behaviour may be of key importance. With optimal pre tension landing and swing phase action will be more efficiënt due elastic and reactive muscle behaviour and increased ability to direct forces horizontally with sufficiënt vertical displacement.

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In i.e. high speed running hamstring and abdominal forces can tilt the pelvic posterior, and hence pre tension in the hamstring of the swing leg is compromised. The iliopsoas muscle is able to control and correct this tilt so hamstrings can work isometrically with proper pre tension and elastic muscle behaviour. When the pelvic is tilted anterior, due lack of abdominal/hamstring controlling iliopsoas action, hamstrings cant stay in isometric conditon, will compromise elastic behaviour and hence have to work (more) eccentrically, which is a risk factor for hamstring strain injury and loss of running efficiency.

Slight anterior pelvic tilt in the stance phase, due erector spinae and iliopsoas action from the swing leg at toe off, can support the gluteus maximus because due this anterior tilt the gluteus maximus can generate force more effective due a more positive force velocity relation. Coordination of this mechanism, with anterior pelvic tilt, can also support the reactive muscle action from the hamstrings in the stance phase.

Loss of pelvic control in the frontal plane will result in a drop of the hip (swing leg) and will lead to energy loss in the stance phase due lack of cocontractions and hence insufficient reactive muscle behaviour.

Insufficient coordination of the gluteal group may also be detrimental to performance and prevention because this may lead to over-active hamstrings, less powerfull hip extension, compromised reflexive movement and loss of pelvic control.

“Present results provide a basis for improved, evidence based, rehabilitation and prevention, particularly focusing on increasing neuromuscular control of the gluts and trunk muscle during sport specific activities (eg. sprint drills, agility drills).”

Schuermans J, Danneels L, Tiggelen DV, et al. 2017. Proximal neuromuscular control protects against hamstring injury in male football players: a prospective study.

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