The effects of preexercise stretching on muscular soreness, tenderness and force loss following heavy eccentric exercise

P H Johansson, L Lindström, G Sundelin, B Lindström
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports 1999, 9 (4): 219-25
The present study sought to investigate the effects of preexercise stretching on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), i.e. soreness, tenderness and loss of muscle force, that usually occurs after strenuous or unaccustomed eccentric exercise. Ten female volunteers performed 10 sets of 10 maximal isokinetic eccentric contractions for knee flexion with both legs after a 5-min ergometer cycling warm-up. Prior to the exercise for one leg, randomly chosen, 4 x 20 s of static stretching for the hamstring muscle group was implemented. Rated soreness, tenderness on algometer pressure and loss of maximal eccentric contractile force was evaluated preexercise and 24, 48 and 96 h postexercise. The exercise bout produced severe DOMS, with parameters peaking and troughing at 48 h postexercise. However, no significant differences were found, regarding any of the parameters, when comparing stretched and nonstretched legs. The present study thus suggests that preexercise static stretching has no preventive effect on the muscular soreness, tenderness and force loss that follows heavy eccentric exercise.

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