RESEARCH SUMMARY: Isometric vs eccentric testing for assessing hamstring strength of youth alpine ski racing athletes (Luchner et al., 2021)

Research SummaryLast Updated:

Original research title: ‘Maximal isometric or eccentric hamstring strength — Which test modality might be more suitable for assessments in youth alpine ski racers?’

Authors: Luchner, R., Steidl-Müller, S., Niedermeier, M., and Raschner, C. 

Year: 2021

Terms used:

ICC: Intraclass correlation coefficient

CV: Coefficients of variation

SDD: Smallest detectable difference


A recent study by Luchner et al. (2021) explored the test-retest reliability of the maximum bilateral eccentric (MBEHS or Nordic) and unilateral isometric (MUIHS) hamstring tests in youth alpine ski racing athletes.

Hamstring strength is acknowledged as a key metric in the prevention of serious knee injury in alpine ski racing athletes and at present, this has not been well investigated in youth athletes.

Study One

26 youth athletes aged 12-13 years old performed two MBEHS and two MUIHS tests, seven days apart. Maximal Bilateral Eccentric tests were shown to have higher ICC values, lower CV values and lower SDD values than the Maximal Unilateral Isometric test in these subjects. This data suggests that the MBEHS test is more suitable than the MUIHS test to determine the maximum hamstring force in youth alpine ski racing athletes.

Study Two

The second part of the study was to assess whether the results of these two tests correlate and if it is therefore possible to streamline testing procedures. 61 youth athletes (aged 10 – 13 years) completed both the MBEHS and MUIHS hamstring tests. Significant moderate-to-strong correlations were found between the test scores suggesting that it is reasonable to use only one of the testing in the physical profiling of youth alpine ski racing athletes. Based on the results of both parts of the study, the authors concluded that the Maximal Bilateral Eccentric Hamstring Test (Nordic) is the most suitable way of assessing maximal hamstring strength in youth alpine ski racing athletes.

To read the full research paper, see here.

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