BALANCE SKILLS NOT AFFECTED BY STRETCHING
Kokkonen, J., & Nelson, A. G. (2009). Does acute stretching modify a surfer's ability to keep a teetering board horizontal? ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. Presentation number 1848.
"Since the sensitivity of the stretch reflex is influenced by acute stretching activities, it was questioned whether an acute stretch would influence a surfer’s ability to maintain a teetering board in a horizontal position." Male surfers (N = 10) with more than two years of experience performed three trials of four 30-second tests on a stabilometer on four separate days. The test criterion was the average time during the three 30-second trials that each S could keep the stabilometer at 180°. Each S balanced with feet either parallel (PR) or perpendicular (PD) to the stabilometer’s axis of rotation. The parallel and perpendicular conditions were performed following either 30 minutes of quiet sitting or 30 minutes of stretching activities. Stretching exercises consisted of various assisted and unassisted static stretches of the hamstring, quadriceps, and calf muscle groups.
Flexibility (sit-and-reach) improved in both treatment conditions. Balance did not change after stretching or in either positions of the feet.
Implication. Learned balance skills do not seem to be affected by stretching. [Since traditional ~30-seconds static stretching did not seem to be evaluated, and it is one form of stretching that does adversely affect many factors involved in human movements, it might be inadvisable too assume that all forms of stretching do not affect balance skills until specific research is conducted that would embrace that concern.]
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