Casey, B., & Terbizan, D. (2006). Improving lower body flexibility, comparing the use of yoga and a static stretching program. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 1749.

This study compared the use of yoga to a static stretching program designed to improve lower extremity flexibility. Ss (M = 26; F = 26; average age = 20.3 yr) were divided into three groups: static stretching (N = 24), yoga program (N = 17), and control (N = 11). Flexibility was tested with a sit and reach test, hip flexibility was measured through goniometry, and the Ss' well-being was assessed with an inventory. Ss in the yoga and static flexibility groups trained two times per week for seven weeks.

Ss in the two stretching groups increased flexibility after seven weeks of training compared to the control group. There was no significant difference between the yoga and static stretching groups in the sit and reach assessment. For hip goniometry, the yoga group improved significantly more than the static stretching and control groups. No significant change occurred for well-being.

Implication. Yoga and static stretching increase flexibility about the same amount.

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