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Phys Ther. 2006 Dec;86(12):1641-50. Epub 2006 Oct 10.

Lengthening the hamstring muscles without stretching using "awareness through movement".

Author information

1
Physical Therapy Department, College of Health Professions, Temple University, 3307 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Passive stretching is widely used to increase muscle flexibility, but it has been shown that this process does not produce long-term changes in the viscoelastic properties of muscle as originally thought. The authors tested a method of lengthening hamstring muscles called "Awareness Through Movement" (ATM) that does not use passive stretching.

SUBJECTS:

Thirty-three subjects who were randomly assigned to ATM and control groups met the screening criteria and completed the intervention phase of the study.

METHODS:

The ATM group went through a process of learning complex active movements designed to increase length in the hamstring muscles. Hamstring muscle length was measured before and after intervention using the Active Knee Extension Test.

RESULTS:

The ATM group gained significantly more hamstring muscle length (+7.04 degrees ) compared with the control group (+1.15 degrees ).

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION:

The results suggest that muscle length can be increased through a process of active movement that does not involve stretching. Further research is needed to investigate this finding.

PMID:
17033041
DOI:
10.2522/ptj.20040208
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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