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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2010 Oct;35(5):679-90. doi: 10.1139/H10-062.

Aerobic activity before and following short-duration static stretching improves range of motion and performance vs. a traditional warm-up.

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  • 1School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL A1C 5S7, Canada.

Abstract

Many activities necessitate a high degree of static joint range of motion (ROM) for an extended duration. The objective of this study was to examine whether ROM could be improved with a short duration and volume of static stretching within a warm-up, without negatively impacting performance. Ten male recreationally active participants completed 2 separate protocols to examine changes in ROM and performance, respectively, with different warm-ups. The warm-up conditions for the ROM protocol were static stretching (SS), consisting of 6 repetitions of 6 s stretches; 10 min of running prior to the SS (AS); and 5 min of running before and after the SS (ASA). The performance protocol included a control condition of 10 min of running. Measures for the ROM protocol included hip flexion ROM, passive leg extensor tension, and hamstring electromyographic (EMG) activity at pre-warm-up, and at 1, 10, 20, and 30 min post-warm-up. Performance measures included countermovement jump (CMJ) height, reaction time (RT), movement time (MT), and balance at pre-warm-up and at 1 and 10 min post-warm-up. The ASA produced greater ROM overall than the SS and AS conditions (p < 0.0001), persisting for 30 min. There were no significant alterations in passive muscle tension or EMG. For the performance protocol, there were no main effects for condition, but there was a main effect for time, with CMJ height being greater at 1 and 10 min post-warm-up (p = 0.0004). Balance ratios and MT improved at 10 min post-warm-up (p < 0.0001). Results indicate that the ASA method can provide ROM improvements for 30 min with either facilitation or no impairment in performance. This may be especially important for athletes who substitute later into a game with minimal time for a full warm-up.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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