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J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Jun;29(6):1737-40. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000800.

Effect of 8-week high-intensity stretching training on biceps femoris architecture.

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University of Lisbon, Faculty of Human Kinetics, CIPER, Lisbon, Portugal.


Previous studies have reported no changes on muscle architecture (MA) after static stretching interventions; however, authors have argued that stretching duration and intensity may not have been sufficient. A high-intensity stretching intervention targeting the knee flexors with an 8-week duration was conducted to observe the effects on biceps femoris long head (BF) architecture. Participants (n = 5) performed an average of 3.1 assisted-stretching sessions per week, whereas a control group (n = 5) did not perform stretching. The knee extension passive maximal range of motion (ROM), and BF fascicle length (FL), fascicle angle, and muscle thickness were assessed before and after the intervention. A significant increase was observed for FL (+12.3 mm, p = 0.04) and maximal ROM (+14.2°, p = 0.04) for the stretching group after the intervention. No significant changes were observed for the control group in any parameter. An 8-week high-intensity stretching program was observed to efficiently increase the BF FL, as well as the knee extension maximal ROM. Stretching intensity and duration may play an important role on MA adaptation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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