Determining the minimum number of passive stretches necessary to alter musculotendinous stiffness

Eric D. Ryan, Trent J. Herda, Pablo B. Costa, Jason M. Defreitas, Travis W. Beck, Jeffrey Stout, Joel T. Cramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


In this study, we examined the minimum number of constant-torque passive stretches necessary to reduce musculotendinous stiffness. Thirteen healthy individuals (mean age 22 years, s = 3; stature 1.67 m, s = 0.1; mass 66 kg, s = 13 kg) volunteered to participate in the investigation and underwent four 30-s constant-torque passive stretches of the plantar flexor muscles. Musculotendinous stiffness was examined from the angle-torque curves generated prior to the passive stretches, at the beginning of each 30-s stretch, and immediately following the four 30-s passive stretches. The results indicated that musculotendinous stiffness of the plantar flexors was reduced following two 30-s constant-torque passive stretches (P < 0.05) compared with the pre- musculotendinous stiffness assessment. Musculotendinous stiffness remained depressed following the third and fourth stretches, but did not decrease further. These findings suggest that two 30-s bouts of constant-torque passive stretching may be necessary to cause a significant decrease in musculotendinous stiffness of the plantar flexor muscles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-961
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Constant torque
  • Creep
  • Electromyography
  • Passive stiffness
  • Passive torque

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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