Tsai, U-J., Huang, H-W., Chen, P_H., Kuo, Y-H., Cheng, C-F., & Tang, W. T. (2012). Static stretching with short duration does not inhibit subsequent 100-m sprint performance in sprinters. Presentation 3437 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012.

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This study evaluated the acute effects of short-duration static-stretching on sprint performance in elite college sprinters (M = 6; F = 7). Ss completed two trials (static-stretching and control) separated by at least two days. After ~20 minutes of specific warm-up (a series of dynamic movements, skipping and hopping drills, and sprints), Ss in the static-stretching trial performed four repetitions of 15 seconds of static-stretching with a 60-second rest interval for each muscle group (hamstrings, quadriceps, gastrocnemius, and gluteus). In the control trial Ss sat quietly on a chair for 12 minutes. The sit-and-reach test was used to measure flexibility. Following that, Ss were instructed to perform a 100-m sprint, which was timed with an electronic timing system with gates set at 0, 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 m. Blood lactate and ammonia concentrations were measured before and after the 100-m sprint.

Flexibility was significantly higher in the static-stretching trial compared to the control trial. There were no significant differences in lactate or ammonia levels before and after the 100-m sprint between trials. No significant differences were found for the segment or total times of the 100-m sprint. Changes in flexibility between the two conditions were significantly correlated with the changes in the last 20-m sprint time between trials (r = 0.73).

Implication. Flexibility is improved by short-duration static-stretching. Sprint performance was not inhibited by stretching in this manner. However, the last 20-m sprint time might be compromised by the increased flexibility.

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