Effects of Dynamic Stretching on Strength, Muscle Imbalance, and Muscle Activation


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Abstract

PurposeThis study aimed to examine the acute effects of dynamic stretching on concentric leg extensor and flexor peak torque, eccentric leg flexor peak torque, and the conventional and functional hamstring–quadriceps (H:Q) ratios.MethodsTwenty-one women (mean ± SD age = 20.6 ± 2.0 yr, body mass = 64.5 ± 9.3 kg, height = 164.7 ± 6.5 cm) performed maximal voluntary isokinetic leg extension, flexion, and eccentric hamstring muscle actions at the angular velocities of 60°·s−1 and 180°·s−1 before and after a bout of dynamic hamstring and quadriceps stretching as well as a control condition.ResultsLeg flexion peak torque decreased under both control (mean ± SE for 60°·s−1 = 75.8 ± 4.0 to 72.4 ± 3.7 N·m, 180°·s−1 = 62.1 ± 3.2 to 59.1 ± 3.1 N·m) and stretching (60°·s−1 = 73.1 ± 3.9 to 65.8 ± 3.3 N·m, 180°·s−1 = 61.2 ± 3.3 to 54.7 ± 2.6 N·m) conditions, whereas eccentric hamstring peak torque decreased only after the stretching (60°·s−1 = 87.3 ± 5.1 to 73.3 ± 3.6 N·m, 180°·s−1 = 89.2 ± 4.4 to 77.0 ± 3.4 N·m) intervention (P ≤ 0.05). Stretching also caused a decrease in conventional H:Q (60°·s−1 = 0.58 ± 0.02 to 0.54 ± 0.02, 180°·s−1 = 0.67 ± 0.02 to 0.61 ± 0.03) and functional H:Q ratios (60°·s−1 = 0.69 ± 0.03 to 0.60 ± 0.03, 180°·s−1 = 1.00 ± 0.06 to 0.60 ± 0.03) (P ≤ 0.05).ConclusionsBecause dynamic stretching reduced concentric and eccentric hamstring strength as well as the conventional and functional H:Q ratios, fitness and allied-health professionals may need to be cautious when recommending dynamic rather than static stretching to maintain muscle force.

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