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
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2021) 20, 690 - 698   DOI: https://doi.org/10.52082/jssm.2021.690

Research article
Acute Hemodynamic Responses to Three Types of Hamstrings Stretching in Senior Athletes
Brent Feland1, Andy C. Hopkins2, David G. Behm3, 
Author Information
1 Faculty Department of Exercise Sciences, College of Life Sciences, Brigham, University, Provo, Utah, USA
2 Department of Exercise Sciences, Brigham University, Provo, Utah, USA
3 School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s NL, Canada

David G. Behm
✉ School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s NL, Canada
Email: dbehm@mun.ca
Publish Date
Received: 28-07-2021
Accepted: 23-08-2021
Published (online): 01-09-2021
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ABSTRACT

Although stretching is recommended for fitness and health, there is little research on the effects of different stretching routines on hemodynamic responses of senior adults. It is not clear whether stretching can be considered an aerobic exercise stimulus or may be contraindicated for the elderly. The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of three stretching techniques; contract/relax proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), passive straight-leg raise (SLR), and static sit-and-reach (SR) on heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) in senior athletes (119 participants: 65.6 ± 7.6 yrs.). Systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and HR measurements were taken at baseline (after 5-minutes in a supine position), 45 and 90-seconds, during the stretch, and 2-minutes after stretching. Within each stretching group, (SLR, PNF, and SR) DBP, MAP and HR at pre-test and 2-min post-stretch were lower than at 45-s and 90-s during the stretch. SLR induced smaller increases in DBP and MAP than PNF and SR, whereas PNF elicited lower HR responses than SR. In conclusion, trained senior adult athletes experienced small to moderate magnitude increases of hemodynamic responses with SLR, SR and PNF stretching, which recovered to baseline values within 2-min after stretching. Furthermore, the passive SLR induced smaller increases in BP than PNF and SR, while PNF elicited lower HR responses than SR. These increases in hemodynamic responses (HR and BP) were not of a magnitude to be clinically significant, provide an aerobic exercise stimulus or warrant concerns for most senior athletes.

Key words: Systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, flexibility, age


           Key Points
  • Trained senior adult athletes experienced small to moderate magnitude increases of hemodynamic responses with SLR, SR and PNF stretching, recovering to baseline values within 2-min after stretching.
  • Passive SLR induced smaller increases in BP than PNF and SR, while PNF elicited lower HR responses than SR.
  • The elevated hemodynamic responses were not of a magnitude to be clinically significant, provide an aerobic exercise stimulus or warrant health concerns for senior athletes.
 
 
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