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J Strength Cond Res. 2004 May;18(2):236-41.

Acute effects of static stretching on peak torque in women.

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Department of Health and Human Performance, Center for Youth Fitness and Sports Research, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588, USA.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of static stretching on concentric, isokinetic leg extension peak torque (PT) at 60 and 240 degrees.s(-1) in the stretched and unstretched limbs. The PT of the dominant (stretched) and nondominant (unstretched) leg extensors were measured on a calibrated Cybex 6000 dynamometer. Following the prestretching PT assessments, the dominant leg extensors were stretched using 1 active and 3 passive stretching exercises. After the stretching, PT was reassessed. The results of the statistical analyses indicated that PT decreased following the static stretching in both limbs and at both velocities (60 and 240 degrees.s(-1)). The present findings suggested that the stretching-induced decreases in PT may be related to changes in the mechanical properties of the muscle, such as an altered length-tension relationship, or a central nervous system inhibitory mechanism. Overall, these findings, in conjunction with previous studies, indicated that static stretching impairs maximal force production. Strength and conditioning professionals should consider this before incorporating static stretching in preperformance activities. Future studies are needed to identify the underlying mechanisms that influence the time course of stretching-induced decreases in maximal force production for athletes and nonathletes across the age span.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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