The hamstring injury is one of the most frequent injuries without third party interference in the sport of soccer. This can lead to a long Return-to-Play (RTP) and, thus, to a severe loss of points in the standings. The so-called lengthening exercises (LEs), which are a modern form of eccentric training, should avoid injuries of the ischiocrural muscles. This non-empirical bachelor thesis aims at demonstrating the LE’s impact on the Return-to-Sport and on the rate of (re)injury as well as the effects of these kinds of exercises.
In the course of answering the research questions, close attention was paid to avoiding using sources which were published before 2010. This should ensure that the thesis represents the latest findings and, therefore, is up to date. By means of an extensive literature research in numerous databases, it was possible to find sources which describe both the effects and impact of lengthening exercises in professional soccer.
LEs’ effects are based on structural, neuronal, cellular and functional adaptions. These entail an improved inter- and intramuscular coordination, the Repeated Bout Effect and a structural change of length, among others. Referring to hamstring injuries’ injury mechanisms in the sport of soccer, the most important effect is a shift in the so-called Length-Tension-Relationship toward an extended muscle. Consequently, the number of first or reoccurring injuries of the ischiocrural muscle group and the time to RTP can be reduced significantly. This can be achieved by adding lengthening exercises to the training and rehabilitation program.