Miyahara, Y., Mieda, K., & Ebashi, H. (2009). Effects of static stretching on prolonged intermittent exercise performance. A paper presented at the 14th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Oslo, Norway, June 24-27.

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This study investigated the effects of static stretching on prolonged intermittent exercise performance. Male university football players (N = 8) completed two 30-minute intermittent pedaling exercises with a 10-minute interval under three experimental conditions (passive rest, active rest, and static stretching). The intermittent exercise protocols consisted of 30 sets, each set including a 5-second maximal sprint against a resistance of 7.5% body mass, a 25-second active recovery, and a 30-second passive rest. During the maximal sprint, peak-pedaling frequency, mean power output, and mean power rate against peak power were evaluated and mean values of the 30 sets were used for analysis. Rating of perceived exertion and blood lactate concentration were determined at rest and at the 10th, 20th, and 30th set during the first intermittent exercise, fifth and ninth minute in the interval, and in the 10th, 20th, and 30th set during the second intermittent exercise. In addition, a recovery rate for lactate was calculated. Between exercises, Ss performed three treatments; six minutes of passive recovery, six minutes of active recovery, or six minutes of static stretching. For passive recovery, Ss were required to sit a chair in a relaxed position. For active recovery, Ss performed light pedaling on a cycle ergometer (10% load at 50 rpm). For static stretching, thighs (hamstrings and quadriceps) and hips were stretched to the point of perceived discomfort. Ss held the stretch position for 30 seconds and repeated it two times for each leg. The treatment order was randomly assigned on three non-consecutive days, to rule out order effects.

Lactate was significantly decreased by all treatments but did not differ between conditions. Peak pedaling frequency and mean power were not altered by any conditions. Mean power rate significantly increased after static stretching whereas passive and active recoveries produced no changes in mean power rate.

Implication. Static Stretching may increase prolonged intermittent exercise performance but offers no extra facilitation in lactate removal.

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