Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2020) 19, 429 - 435

Research article
Influence of High Intensity 20-Second Static Stretching on the Flexibility and Strength of Hamstrings
Kosuke Takeuchi1, , Masatoshi Nakamura2
Author Information
1 Department of Physical Therapy, Kobe International University, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
2 Institute for Human Movement and Medical Sciences, Niigata University of Health and Welfare, Niigata, Niigata, Japan

Kosuke Takeuchi
✉ Kobe International University, Faculty of Rehabilitation, 9-1-6 Koyou-cho, Higashinada-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo 658-0032, Japan
Publish Date
Received: 06-01-2020
Accepted: 03-04-2020
Published (online): 01-05-2020
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The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of high intensity static stretching for 20 seconds on flexibility and strength in the hamstrings. Seventeen healthy participants (13 men and 4 women) underwent static stretching for 20 seconds at three different intensities based on the point of discomfort (POD, 120% POD, and MaxPOD). To examine the change in flexibility and strength, range of motion (ROM), passive torque, muscle-tendon unit stiffness, peak torque of maximum voluntary isokinetic concentric contraction, and knee angle at peak torque were measured. To evaluate a time course of pain, a numerical rating scale (NRS) was described. ROM (percent change; POD = 113.5 ± 10.4%, 120%POD = 127.6 ± 18.8%, MaxPOD = 135.6 ± 18.5%) (p < 0.01) and passive torque (percent change; POD = 124.2 ± 38.9%, 120%POD = 143.4 ± 65.1%, MaxPOD = 171.8 ± 83.6%) (p < 0.01) were increased at all intensities. Muscle-tendon unit stiffness was decreased at 120%POD (percent change; 72.4 ± 36.2, p < 0.01) and MaxPOD (percent change; 56.6 ± 30.0, p < 0.01). Peak torque showed no change at all intensities (percent change; POD = 99.1 ± 14.0%, 120%POD = 95.4 ± 17.4%, MaxPOD = 98.4 ± 20.1%, p > 0.05). There were significant correlations between the intensities and relative change of the ROM (r = 0.57, p < 0.01), passive torque (r = 0.46, p < 0.01), muscle-tendon unit stiffness (r = -0.53, p < 0.01) and knee angle at peak torque (r = 0.50, p < 0.01). NRS increased with the intensity of static stretching (median; POD = 1, 120%POD = 3, Max POD = 8), though the pain disappeared immediately after the stretching (median = 0). In conclusion, static stretching for 20 seconds at high intensity was effective for a decrement in muscle-tendon unit stiffness.

Key words: Stiffness, passive torque, peak torque, pain, short duration, range of motion

           Key Points
  • Effect of high intensity of static stretching (SS) for 20 seconds on hamstring was examined.
  • SS at high intensity decreased muscle-tendon unit stiffness.
  • The peak torque of knee flexion during isokinetic contraction was not changed after SS.
  • The pain during the stretching disappeared immediately after the stretching.
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