LOW-FREQUENCY STRETCHING YIELDS MINOR IMPROVEMENTS IN HAMSTRING FLEXIBILITY
Wittman, M., Babault, N., & Kouassi, B. Y. (2005). Static stretch and warm-up: Effects on the lower limb flexibility and jumping ability. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 37(5), Supplement abstract 991.
Physical education students (N = 10) served as subjects. Five Ss performed a training routine of static stretching immediately after 10 minutes of a jogging warm-up. The other five Ss performed the same stretching routine after a 20-minute rest period following the same warm-up. Static stretching consisted of four bilateral 30-second passive stretches of the quadriceps femoris, hamstring, adductor, and calf muscles, twice per week for five weeks. Explosive strength was measured using squat jump and counter movement jumps.
Vertical jump performance and calf and adductor flexibility did not change. Hamstring flexibility improved significantly. The improved flexibility was similar for both groups.
Implication. Low-frequency stretching improved hamstring flexibility. Perhaps more sessions per week would have yielded different results [often daily stretching is advocated]. Flexibility in other joints and explosive strength were not changed by the routine used. The effects of a stretching routine do not appear to be affected by a prior warm-up.
Return to Table of Contents for this issue.