McGrath, R., Whitehead, J. R., Came, D. J., & Brinkert, R. H. (2011). Effects of two different post-exercise stretching modalities on delayed onset muscular soreness in adults. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(5). Supplement abstract 1728.

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This study determined the effect of post-exercise proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching on delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Ss were assigned to a PNF stretching group (N = 19), static-stretching group (N = 20), and to a no-stretching control group (N = 18). Ss completed exercises designed to induce DOMS prior to post-exercise experimental stretching protocols. Soreness level was rated on a pain scale 24 and 48 hours post-exercise.

There was no difference between the effects of the stretching forms or significant interaction of form and time. DOMS pain significantly decreased from 24 to 48 hours post-exercise for the PNF and control groups, but not for the static-stretching group. There was a significant correlation (r = .61) between the pre- and post-exercise stretch scores and the 48 hour post-exercise pain score for the PNF group. As with the results of previous research on post-exercise static-stretching, these results indicate that post-exercise PNF stretching also did not prevent DOMS but it did promote faster recovery than static-stretching. Since the control group also recovered faster than the static-stretching group, in this case static-stretching appeared to slow the speed of recovery.

Implication. PNF stretching and no-stretching promote faster recovery from DOMS than static-stretching.

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