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Int J Sports Med. 2009 Jan;30(1):60-5. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1038738. Epub 2008 Jul 23.

Effects of stretching on peak torque and the H:Q ratio.

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Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, United States.


The purpose of the present study was to examine the acute effects of hamstring and calf stretching on leg extension and flexion peak torque (PT) and the hamstrings-to-quadriceps (H : Q) ratio during maximal, concentric isokinetic muscle actions at 60, 180, and 300 degrees . s (-1) in women. Thirteen women (mean age +/- SD = 20.8 +/- 1.8 yrs; height = 163.0 +/- 5.7 cm; mass = 64.0 +/- 8.3 kg) performed 3 maximal concentric isokinetic leg extension and flexion muscle actions at 3 randomly ordered angular velocities (60, 180, and 300 degrees . s (-1)) before and after a bout of static stretching. The stretching protocol consisted of 1 unassisted and 3 assisted static stretching exercises designed to stretch the posterior muscles of the thigh and leg. Four repetitions of each stretch were held for 30 s with 20 s rest between repetitions. The results indicated that leg flexion PT decreased from pre- to post-stretching (34.9 +/- 3.5 and 32.4 +/- 3.2 Nm, respectively) collapsed across velocity. However, no other changes were observed from pre- to post-stretching for leg extension PT (78.5 +/- 5.9 and 77.8 +/- 5.5 Nm, respectively) and the H : Q ratio (0.47 +/- 0.04 and 0.44 +/- 0.03, respectively). Our findings suggested that despite the stretching-induced decreases in leg flexion PT, leg extension PT and the H : Q ratios were unaltered by the stretching.

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