Inhibition of Maximal Voluntary Isokinetic Torque Production Following Stretching Is Velocity-Specific


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Abstract

Recent research has shown that a regimen of stretching provides an acute inhibition of maximal force production by the stretched muscle group. To further characterize this phenomenon, the effect of an acute stretching regimen on maximal isokinetic knee-extension torque at 5 specific movement velocities (1.05,1.57, 2.62, 3.67, and 4.71 rad·s−1) was examined in 10 men and 5 women (22–28 years). Each person's 5 baseline maximal isokinetic knee-extension torques (dominant leg) were measured on a Cybex NORM dynamometer. Following the baseline torque measurements, the participants stretched the dominant quadriceps for 15 minutes using 1 active and 3 passive stretching exercises. Once the stretching exercises were completed, the maximal torque measurements were repeated. Poststretch maximal torque at 1.05 rad·s−1 was significantly reduced (p < 0.05) from 218 ± 47 Nm (mean ± SD) to 199 ± 49 Nm (7.2% decrease). At 1.57 rad·s−1, a similar decrease (p < 0.05) was also seen (204 ± 48 Nm vs. 195 ± 47 Nm; 4.5% decrease), but at the other velocities (2.62, 3.67, and 4.71 rad·s−1), poststretch maximal torque was unaltered (p > 0.05). It appears, therefore, that the deleterious impact of stretching activities on maximal torque production might be limited to movements performed at relatively slow velocities.

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