Background: The Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE) has been proven to be an effective preventive technique for hamstring injuries. Hemorheological parameters (erythrocyte deformability and aggregation) play a critical role in exercise influencing oxygenation. Although previous studies presented hemorheological alterations induced by different types of exercise, changes in red blood cell (RBC) deformability and aggregation following NHE remain unknown. Present study was designed to explore possible alterations in hemorheological and oxidative parameters after an acute bout of NHE.
Methods: 10 healthy, male, active students (mean age 19.9±0.23, BMI: 21.56±0.54) participated to the study. They performed a single session of seven-repetitions of NHE followed by a familiarisation period. Blood samples were obtained before and immediately after the exercise from the antecubital vein. Hemorheological parameters were measured by an ektacytometer.
Results: NHE did not change deformability, hematocrit and oxidative stress but, increased RBC aggregation index (AI, p = 0.011) and decreased RBC aggregation half time (t½, p = 0.009).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that, increased RBC aggregation following an acute bout of NHE may result in increased plasma skimming and thus ease the flow of blood.
Keywords: Nordic hamstring exercise; RBC deformability; erythrocyte aggregation; oxidative stress.