Markovic, G., Simic, L., & Mikulic, P. (2009). A meta-analysis to determine the acute effects of static stretching on jumping and sprinting performance. ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. Presentation number 800.

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"Static stretching is commonly performed prior to exercise and athletic events. It is generally believed that that pre-exercise static stretching will promote better performances and reduce the risk of injury during exercise. However, some, but not all studies showed that pre-exercise static stretching may actually reduce performance, particularly those related to explosive muscular efforts (i.e., jumps and sprints). Given the widespread use of static stretching in exercise and rehabilitation settings, it is of both scientific and practical relevance to determine the precise estimate of acute effects of static stretching on explosive muscular performance."

This study estimated the acute effects of static stretching on jumping and sprinting performance in healthy individuals. Meta-analyses of randomized and non-randomized controlled trials and crossover trials that evaluated the acute effects of static stretching on jumping (jump height or distance) and sprinting (sprint time or velocity) performance were undertaken. Studies were identified by computerized and manual searches of the literature.

Studies (N = 24) yielding 33 data points for jumping performance and 13 data points for sprinting performance met the initial inclusion criteria. The pooled estimate of the acute effects of static stretching on jumping and sprinting performance, expressed in standardized units was -0.09 and -0.04, respectively. No significant relations were found between the total stretch duration and stretch-induced changes in jumping or sprinting performance.

Implication. Static stretching in warm-up routines decreases jumping and sprinting performance, but the magnitude of effects is likely to be of small practical importance.

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