Candido, P. Z., Angeli, G., Kirkendall, D., & Barros, T. L. (2009). Analysis of the efficacy of different stretching applications and their relation to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. Presentation number 2346.

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This study evaluated if a stretching program was effective for attenuating the signs and symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) caused by eccentric exercising. For 25 days, active male individuals (N = 33; ages 20-31 years) underwent two sets of tests and eccentric exercises in order to trigger DOMS. Testing 1 was performed before, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours after Eccentric Exercises 1 and consisted of: measurement of the range of motion of knee flexion, thigh perimeter, and the subjective perception of pain. Eccentric Exercises 1 was performed on the first day and consisted of four series of 12 repetitions of eccentric contractions on a leg extension machine at the level of 80% of one maximum repetition. After that, a 17-day stretching program began after which Ss were randomly assigned into three groups; group A did not perform stretching, group B did one 10-second repetition of stretching, and group C did three repetitions of 30 seconds. Following this, each group underwent a second set of testing and eccentric exercises which followed the same patterns as used previously.

After the stretching program, there was decreased muscle pain. Group A reported less pain than did the other groups. The stretching program decreased DOMS and increased the range of movement. Furthermore, performing a stretching program without doing stretching immediately before the exercise is more effective for attenuating DOMS.

Implication. Stretching (what type of activity was not reported) was reported as helping to reduce DOMS after eccentric exercise. However, the implication is further muddied in the report that no pre-exercise stretching (Group A) is advisable.

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