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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte
Print version ISSN 1517-8692
GREGO NETO, Anselmo and MANFFRA, Elisangela Ferretti. Influence of static stretching volume in isokinetic variables of harmstrings. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2009, vol.15, n.2, pp. 104-109. ISSN 1517-8692. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922009000200004.
Stretching exercises are commonly prescribed before training sessions and competitions aiming at performance improvement and reduction of injury risk. However, many studies have shown that muscular torque production capacity may be reduced just after stretching. Therefore, the stretching duration necessary to produce these acute force deficits, as well as the physiological mechanisms responsible for them are relevant issues. The aim of this work was to investigate the acute effects of static stretching protocols with different durations on the isokinetic hamstrings performance. Thirty-six young male volunteers took part in this study and were evenly distributed in three groups: E1, E2 and C. All of them performed a systemic warm-up for five minutes and went through active range of motion (AROM) of hip flexion and isokinetic assessment. The participants of groups E1 and E2 performed static stretching protocols of 180s (4 x 45s) and 360s (8 x 45s) respectively, and were evaluated again. The participants of group C (control) remained at rest for a period of 270s and were evaluated again. The variables considered were AROM, peak torque, maximum work and total work. Both stretching protocols were able to produce increase in AROM; however, only the longest protocol produced deficits on peak torque and maximum work. Total work was not affected by any of the stretching protocols, though. Therefore, these results suggest that changes in muscular stiffness, that caused AROM gain, would not be responsible alone for the force deficits. Moreover, one can conclude that the maximum muscular strength depends on the stretching duration, but the muscular work along some repetitions of an exercise does not.
Keywords : muscle strength; torque; muscle strength dynamometer; range of motion; muscle stretching exercises.