Nelson, A. G., Kokkonen, J., & Arnall, D. A. (2005). Acute muscle stretching inhibits muscle strength endurance performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 19, 338-343.

"Since strength and muscular strength endurance are linked, it is possible that the inhibitory influence that prior stretching has on strength can also extend to the reduction of muscle strength endurance. To date, however, studies measuring muscle strength endurance post-stretching have been criticized because of problems with their reliability." The purpose of this study was twofold: both the muscle strength endurance performance after acute static stretching exercises and the repeatability of those differences were measured. Two separate experiments were conducted. First, the knee-flexion muscle strength endurance exercise was measured by exercise performed at 60 and 40% of body weight following either a no-stretching or stretching regimen. Second, using a test-retest protocol, a knee-flexion muscle strength endurance exercise was performed at 50% body weight on four different days, with two tests following a no-stretching regimen (RNS) and two tests following a stretching regimen (RST).

When exercise was performed at 60% of body weight, stretching significantly reduced muscle strength endurance by 24%, and at 40% of body weight, it was reduced by 9%. Reliability was high. Stretching also significantly reduced muscle strength endurance by 28% in the second study.

Implication. Heavy static stretching exercises of a muscle group should be avoided before any performances requiring maximal muscle strength endurance.

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