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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2017 Oct;27(10):1070-1080. doi: 10.1111/sms.12725. Epub 2016 Jul 1.

Effects of acute static, ballistic, and PNF stretching exercise on the muscle and tendon tissue properties.

Author information

1
Sport Science, Graz University, Graz, Austria.
2
Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of a single static, ballistic, or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching exercise on the various muscle-tendon parameters of the lower leg and to detect possible differences in the effects between the methods. Volunteers (n = 122) were randomly divided into static, ballistic, and PNF stretching groups and a control group. Before and after the 4 × 30 s stretching intervention, we determined the maximum dorsiflexion range of motion (RoM) with the corresponding fascicle length and pennation angle of the gastrocnemius medialis. Passive resistive torque (PRT) and maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) were measured with a dynamometer. Observation of muscle-tendon junction (MTJ) displacement with ultrasound allowed us to determine the length changes in the tendon and muscle, respectively, and hence to calculate stiffness. Although RoM increased (static: +4.3%, ballistic: +4.5%, PNF: +3.5%), PRT (static: -11.4%, ballistic: -11.5%, PNF: -13,7%), muscle stiffness (static: -13.1%, ballistic: -20.3%, PNF: -20.2%), and muscle-tendon stiffness (static: -11.3%, ballistic: -10.5%, PNF: -13.7%) decreased significantly in all the stretching groups. Only in the PNF stretching group, the pennation angle in the stretched position (-4.2%) and plantar flexor MVC (-4.6%) decreased significantly. Multivariate analysis showed no clinically relevant difference between the stretching groups. The increase in RoM and the decrease in PRT and muscle-tendon stiffness could be explained by more compliant muscle tissue following a single static, ballistic, or PNF stretching exercise.

KEYWORDS:

MVC ; Stiffness; passive resistive torque; range of motion; stretching; ultrasound

PMID:
27367916
PMCID:
PMC5479471
DOI:
10.1111/sms.12725
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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