Bazett-Jones, D. M., Winchester, J. B., & McBride, J. M. (2005). Effect of potentiation and stretching on maximal force, rate of force development, and range of motion. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 19, 421-426.

This investigation compared the effects of stretching vs. potentiation on subsequent maximal force and rate of force development capabilities in an isometric squat. Male collegiate athletes (N = 10) served as subjects. Ss were tested during three separate sessions that involved joint range of motion measurements of the lower body and isometric squat trials on a force plate to determine peak force and rate of force development values. Testing sessions were preceded by 10 minutes of quiet sitting, a 30-minute lower-body stretching protocol, or three sets of a leg press exercise using 90% of the S's previously determined 1 RM. Three repetitions were performed for each set of the leg press, with a 3-minute rest period between each set.

Peak force during the isometric squat was not significantly different following any of the three conditions. However, rate of force development was significantly lower in potentiation leg press exercise condition compared with the stretching and quiet sitting conditions.

Implication. Significant improvement in range of motion occurred only following fatiguing exercise. A general lower-body stretching protocol did not produce the range of motion improvements that normally would be expected.

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