Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Female Athletes Should Develop Strong Hamstrings

Females demonstrate a lower hamstring to quadriceps ratio. This means females typically have weaker hamstrings compared to males. Females demonstrate different muscle activation patterns compared to males. Females are typically quadriceps dominant athletes. This means females use their strong quadriceps muscles and do not use their weak hamstrings enough.

How does this affect Anterior Cruciate Knee injuries? The hamstring muscle group acts to protect the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and the quadriceps muscle group places STRESS on the Anterior Cruciate Ligament.

Therefore, quadriceps dominant muscle work demonstrated by females places excessive stress on the knee's ACL. Research suggests that the hamstring muscle group should be 60%-80% the strength of the quadriceps muscle group.

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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