Relationship between the peak time of hamstring stretch and activation during sprinting

Ayako Higashihara*, Yasuharu Nagano, Takashi Ono, Toru Fukubayashi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the time series relationships between the peak musculotendon length and electromyography (EMG) activation during overground sprinting to clarify the risk of muscle strain injury incidence in each hamstring muscle. Full-body kinematics and EMG of the right biceps femoris long head (BFlh) and semitendinosus (ST) muscles were recorded in 13 male sprinters during overground sprinting at maximum effort. The hamstring musculotendon lengths during sprinting were computed using a three-dimensional musculoskeletal model. The time of the peak musculotendon length, in terms of the percentage of the running gait cycle, was measured and compared with that of the peak EMG activity. The maximum length of the hamstring muscles was noted during the late swing phase of sprinting. The peak musculotendon length was synchronous with the peak EMG activation in the BFlh muscle, while the time of peak musculotendon length in the ST muscle occurred significantly later than the peak level of EMG activation (p <0.05). These results suggest that the BFlh muscle is exposed to an instantaneous high tensile force during the late swing phase of sprinting, indicating a higher risk for muscle strain injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 2
Externally publishedYes


  • electromyography
  • Hamstring muscles
  • musculoskeletal model
  • musculotendon length
  • sprint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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