Passive stiffness and maximal and explosive strength responses after an acute bout of constant-tension stretching

Ty B. Palmer, Ryan M. Thiele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Context: Constant-tension (CT) stretching has been used to reduce hamstrings passive stiffness; however, the time course of hamstrings stiffness responses during a short bout of this type of stretching and the effects on maximal and explosive strength remain unclear. Objective: To examine the time course of hamstrings passive-stiffness responses during a short, practical bout of manual straight-legged–raise (SLR) CT passive stretches and their effects on maximal and explosive strength in healthy young women. Design: Descriptive laboratory study. Setting: Research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Eleven healthy women (age ¼ 24 6 4 years, height ¼ 167 6 4 cm, mass ¼ 65 6 8 kg) participated. Intervention(s): Participants underwent four 15-second SLR CT passive stretches of the hamstrings. Main Outcome Measurement(s): Hamstrings passive stiffness was calculated from the slopes of the initial (phase 1) and final (phase 2) portions of the angle-torque curves generated before and after the stretching intervention and at the beginning of each 15-second stretch. Hamstrings peak torque and rate of torque development were derived from maximal voluntary isometric contractions performed before and after the stretching intervention. Results: The slope coefficients (collapsed across phase) for the third and fourth stretches and the poststretching assessment were lower than the prestretching assessment (P range ¼ .004–.04), but they were not different from each other (P . .99). In addition, no differences in peak torque (t10 ¼0.375, P ¼ .72) or rate of torque development (t10 ¼ 0.423, P ¼ .68) were observed between prestretching and poststretching. Conclusions: A short bout of SLR CT passive stretching may effectively reduce hamstrings stiffness without negatively influencing maximal and explosive strength.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-526
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Volume54
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019

Keywords

  • Hamstrings
  • Peak torque
  • Range of motion
  • Rate of torque development
  • Straight-legged raise

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