Date of Award:

2012

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Health, Physical Education, and Recreation

Advisor/Chair:

Dale Wagner, Ph.D.

Abstract

A great deal of research has shown decrements in force and power following static stretching. There has been little research investigating the acute effects of static stretching of the antagonist on the expression of strength and power. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of static stretching of the antagonist muscles on a variety of strength and power measures. Sixteen active males were tested for vertical jump height and isokinetic torque production in a slow knee extension (KES) at 60°/s and a fast knee extension (KEF) at 300°/s. Electromyography was taken during knee extension tests for the vastus lateralis and the biceps femoris muscles. Participants performed these tests in a randomized counterbalanced order with and without prior antagonist stretching. All variables for stretching and non-stretching treatments were compared using paired t tests at an alpha of .05. Paired samples t tests revealed a significant (p = .034) difference between stretch KEF and non-stretch KEF conditions. There was no significant (p > .05) difference between KES stretch and non-stretch conditions. Vertical jump height was significantly (p = .011) higher for the stretching treatment than the non-stretching treatment. Vertical jump power was also significantly higher (p = .005) in the stretch versus the non-stretch condition. Paired samples t test indicated no significant (p > .05) difference between testing conditions for electromyography, represented as a percentage of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). These results suggest that stretching the antagonist hamstrings prior to high speed isokinetic knee extension increases torque production. It also demonstrated that stretching the hip flexors and dorsi flexors may enhance jump height and power. Practitioners may use this information to acutely enhance strength and power performances.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on April 10, 2012.

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