Quo Vadis Nordic Hamstring Exercise-Related Research?-A Scoping Review Revealing the Need for Improved Methodology and Reporting

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The objective of this scoping review is to assess Nordic Hamstring Exercise quality (ANHEQ) of assessments and interventions according to the ANHEQ rating scales and to present practical recommendations for the expedient design and reporting of future studies. A total of 71 Nordic Hamstring Exercise (NHE) assessments and 83 NHE interventions were selected from the data sources PubMed, Scopus, and SPORTDiscus. Research studies which were presented in peer-reviewed academic journals and implemented the NHE during laboratory-based assessments or multi-week interventions met the eligibility criteria. NHE assessments analyzed force (51%), muscle activation (41%), knee angle kinematics (38%), and bilateral symmetry (37%). NHE interventions lasted 4-8 weeks (56%) and implied an exercise volume of two sessions per week (66%) with two sets per session (41%) and ≥8 repetitions per set (39%). The total ANHEQ scores of the included NHE assessments and interventions were 5.0 ± 2.0 and 2.0 ± 2.0 (median ± interquartile range), respectively. The largest deficits became apparent for consequences of impaired technique (87% 0-point-scores for assessments) and kneeling height (94% 0-point-scores for interventions). The 0-point-scores were generally higher for interventions compared to assessments for rigid fixation (87% vs. 34%), knee position (83% vs. 48%), kneeling height (94% vs. 63%), and separate familiarization (75% vs. 61%). The single ANHEQ criteria, which received the highest score most frequently, were rigid fixation (66% of assessments) and compliance (33% of interventions). The quality of NHE assessments and interventions was generally 'below average' or rather 'poor'. Both NHE assessments and interventions suffered from imprecise reporting or lacking information regarding NHE execution modalities and subsequent analyses. Based on the findings, this scoping review aggregates practical guidelines how to improve the design and reporting of future NHE-related research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11225
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 07.09.2022

Research areas and keywords

  • Exercise/physiology
  • Hamstring Muscles/physiology
  • Humans
  • Knee/physiology
  • Knee Joint/physiology
  • Muscle Strength/physiology


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