In AFL (Australian Rules Football), the most prevalent injury is hamstring strain (Orchard & Seward, 2002). This is due to the repetitive high kicking component of the sport, as well as the sprinting and jumping. Also, AFL players run a further distance on average per game than any other major football code, hence muscle endurance is a key factor to consider.
Injury prevention for hamstring strains must include both muscle flexibility and muscle strengthening (especially eccentric strength). Acceleration/deceleration training, glutes strength, and hamstring endurance are also important.
Specific exercises should include:
- hamstring flexibility work (various stretches, self myofascial releases)
- strength work for hammies (romanian deadlifts, single leg deadlifts, straight leg extension from a maximal stretch position with pulleys/bands)