Acute effects of passive stretching on the electromechanical delay and evoked twitch properties: A gender comparison

Pablo B. Costa, Eric D. Ryan, Trent J. Herda, Ashley A. Walter, Katherine M. Hoge, Joel T. Cramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the acute effects of passive stretching on electromechanical delay (EMD), peak twitch force (PTF), rate of force development (RFD), and peak-to-peak M-wave (PPM) for the soleus muscle during evoked isometric plantar flexion muscle actions. Fourteen men (mean age ± SD = 21.2 ± 2.4 years; body mass = 80.0 ± 14.9 kg; height = 176.9 ± 7.2 cm) and 20 women (20.9 ± 2.5 years; 61.3 ± 8.9 kg; 165.3 ± 7.5 cm) volunteered for the study. Five single-square, supramaximal transcutaneous electrical stimuli (each separated by 5 s) were delivered to the tibial nerve before and after passive stretching. A time × gender interaction was observed for EMD, and the post hoc dependent-samples t tests indicated that EMD increased 4% for the women (p = .023), but not for the men (p = .191). There were no other stretching-related changes for PTF, RFD, or p-p M-wave for either the men or women (p > .05). These findings tentatively suggested that mechanical factors related to the stiffness of the muscle-tendon unit may contribute to the explanation for why stretching caused an acute increase in the EMD during evoked twitches in the women, but not in the men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-654
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of applied biomechanics
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

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Keywords

  • Electrical stimulation
  • Electromyography
  • Mechanical properties
  • Muscle mechanics
  • Rate of force development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation

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