Effects of two modes of static stretching on muscle strength and stiffness.

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of constant-angle (CA) and constant-torque (CT) stretching of the leg flexors on peak torque (PT), EMGRMS at PT, passive range of motion (PROM), passive torque (PAS(TQ)), and musculotendinous stiffness (MTS). Seventeen healthy men (mean ± SD: age = 21.4 ± 2.4 yr) performed a PROM assessment and an isometric maximal voluntary contraction of the leg flexors at a knee joint angle of 80° below full leg extension before and after 8 min of CA and CT stretching. PASTQ and MTS were measured at three common joint angles for before and after assessments. PT decreased (mean ± SE = 5.63 ± 1.65 N·m) (P = 0.004), and EMG(RMS) was unchanged (P > 0.05) from before to after stretching for both treatments. PROM increased (5.00° ± 1.03°) and PASTQ decreased at all three angles before to after stretching (angle 1 = 5.03 ± 4.52 N·m, angle 2 = 6.30 ± 5.88 N·m, angle 3 = 6.68 ± 6.33 N·m) for both treatments (P ≤ 0.001). In addition, MTS decreased at all three angles (angle 1 = 0.23 ± 0.29 N·m·°(-1), angle 2 = 0.26 ± 0.35 N·m·°(-1), angle 3 = 0.28 ± 0.44 N·m·°(-1)) after the CT stretching treatment (P < 0.005); however, MTS was unchanged after CA stretching (P > 0.05). PT, EMG(RMS), PROM, and PASTQ changed in a similar manner after stretching treatments; however, only CT stretching resulted in a decrease in MTS. Therefore, if the primary goal of the stretching routine is to decrease MTS, these results suggest that CT stretching (constant pressure) may be more appropriate than a stretch held at a constant muscle length (CA stretching).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1777-1784
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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