The length of the hamstring muscles plays an important role in human movements. The aim of the present study was to compare ROM, perceived tightness, and kinetic variables during balance, walking, and running tasks in athletes with and without hamstring tightness.
Thirty healthy female athletes (15 with hamstring tightness and 15 controls) were assessed for ROM, perceived tightness, and kinetic parameters which were obtained by Moticon SCIENCE insoles and Moticon software during single-leg balance, slow/fast walking, and running. Independent t test was used to compare the outcome measures between two groups.
The results showed that the control group and the athletes with hamstring tightness are significantly different in regards to ROM, perceived tightness (P = 0.001), the mean center of pressure in the mediolateral direction (MCOPML) (P = 0.01) in single- leg balance, maximum total force of stance phase (MaxTFSP) (P < 0.02) in slow walking, and mean Y end point of gait line (MYEPGL) (P = 0.04) in fast walking. In the running task, none of the study variables were significantly different between the two groups of athletes with and without hamstring tightness.
It is recommended to pay more attention to the hamstring flexibility, especially during balance and walking tasks and regaining its normal length should be included in the rehabilitation plans.