The purpose of this study was to identify the period of the gait cycle during which the hamstring muscles were likely injured by estimating the magnitude of tensile force in each muscle during overground sprinting. We conducted three-dimensional motion analysis of 12 male athletes performing overground sprinting at their maximal speed and calculated the hamstring muscle-tendon length and joint angles of the right limb throughout a gait cycle during which the ground reaction force was measured. Electromyographic activity during sprinting was recorded for the biceps femoris long head, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus muscles of ipsilateral limb. We estimated the magnitude of tensile force in each muscle by using the length change occurred in the musculotendon and normalized electromyographic activity value. The study found a quick increase of estimated tensile force in the biceps femoris long head during the early stance phase of the gait cycle during which the increased hip flexion angle and ground reaction force occurred at the same time. This study provides quantitative data of tensile force in the hamstring muscles suggesting that the biceps femoris long head muscle is susceptible to a strain injury during the early stance phase of the sprinting gait cycle.
ASJC Scopus subject areas