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Muscle Nerve. 2013 Oct;48(4):571-7. doi: 10.1002/mus.23791. Epub 2013 Jul 30.

Influence of maximum range of motion and stiffness on the viscoelastic stretch response.

Author information

1
Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, Department of Exercise and Sports Science, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 209 Fetzer Hall, CB# 8700, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 27599, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

We examined the influence of maximum range of motion (MROM) and passive stiffness on the viscoelastic stretch response.

METHODS:

Four 30-s constant-angle passive stretches of the plantar flexors at a predetermined torque were performed to determine the rate and relative change in stress relaxation (decline in torque during each 30-s stretch) and creep (increase in ankle joint angle across all 4 stretches). Stress relaxation and creep responses were examined between participants after they were ranked into high and low groups based on MROM and passive stiffness values.

RESULTS:

Stress relaxation responses were unaffected by MROM and passive stiffness; however, creep was influenced by differences in passive stiffness but not MROM.

CONCLUSIONS:

Passive stiffness but not MROM influences the acute viscoelastic response to passive stretching. Participants with less stiff plantar flexors experience greater increases in range of motion when they are stretched at a constant torque.

KEYWORDS:

creep; flexibility; passive torque; stress relaxation; stretching

PMID:
23897658
DOI:
10.1002/mus.23791
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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