MINIMAL STRETCHING DOES NOT AFFECT STRENGTH OR AGILITY IN NORMAL SUBJECTS
Millar, A. L., Correa, R., & McIntosh, N. (2007). Effects of different types of stretching on strength and agility. ACSM Annual Meeting New Orleans, Presentation Number, 1815.
This study examined the immediate effects of brief bouts of two types of stretching on strength and agility. College students (N = 20) served as their own controls, and were tested on three occasions 48 hours apart. Ss were tested for hamstring flexibility, strength, and performance on a timed agility test before and after each intervention. The interventions were a control, static stretching, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching, each lasting five minutes.
Hamstring flexibility improved significantly following both stretching interventions. There were no significant differences for either strength or agility when interventions were compared to the control. The strength results showed large inter-individual variations for the three conditions, with Ss both gaining and losing strength. Individual variability was less obvious during the agility.
Implication. A small amount of stretching was not detrimental to strength or agility. However, the notable inter-individual variation in responses suggests that individual testing for response is advisable rather than generalizing the finding unequivocally. These results need to be replicated in seriously training athletes.
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