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Int J Sports Med. 2013 Jun;34(6):484-90. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1327655. Epub 2012 Nov 9.

Decrements in stiffness are restored within 10 min.

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Chukyo University, School of Health and Sport Sciences, Toyota, Japan.


The purpose of this study was to clarify the temporal course of stiffness in the muscle-tendon unit after stretching. In 11 male participants, displacement of the myotendinous junction on the gastrocnemius medialis muscle was measured ultrasonographically during the passive-dorsiflexion test, with the ankle was passively dorsiflexed at 1 °/s to the end of the range of motion. Passive torque, representing resistance to stretch, was also measured using an isokinetic dynamometer. On 4 different days, passive-dorsiflexion tests were performed before and immediately, 5, 10 or 15 min after stretching, which comprised dorsiflexion to end range of motion and holding that position for 1 min, 5 times. As a result, end range of motion and passive torque at end range of motion were significantly increased after stretching (P<0.05) as compared with each previous value. Although stiffness of the muscle-tendon unit was significantly decreased immediately and 5 min after stretching (P<0.05), this change recovered within 10 min. These results suggest that static stretching for 5 min results in significantly increased range of motion over 30 min, but significant decreases in stiffness of the muscle-tendon unit returned to baseline levels within 5-10 min.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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