JOURNAL ARTICLE

The acute effects of static stretching on peak torque, mean power output, electromyography, and mechanomyography

J T Cramer, T J Housh, J P Weir, G O Johnson, J W Coburn, T W Beck
European Journal of Applied Physiology 2005, 93 (5-6): 530-9
15599756
The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of static stretching on peak torque (PT), the joint angle at PT, mean power output (MP), electromyographic (EMG) amplitude, and mechanomyographic (MMG) amplitude of the vastus lateralis (VL) and rectus femoris (RF) muscles during maximal, voluntary concentric isokinetic leg extensions at 60 and 240 degrees x s(-1) of the stretched and unstretched limbs. Twenty-one volunteers [mean age (SD) 21.5 (1.3) years] performed maximal, voluntary concentric isokinetic leg extensions for the dominant and non-dominant limbs at 60 and 240 degrees x s(-1). Surface EMG (muVrms) and MMG (mVrms) signals were recorded from the VL and RF muscles during the isokinetic tests. PT (Nm), the joint angle at PT, and MP (W) were calculated by a dynamometer. Following the initial isokinetic tests, the dominant leg extensors were stretched using four static stretching exercises. After the stretching, the isokinetic tests were repeated. PT decreased (P< or =0.05) from pre- to post-stretching for the stretched limb at 60 and 240 degrees x s(-1) and for the unstretched limb at 60 degrees x s(-1). EMG amplitude of the VL and RF also decreased (P< or =0.05) from pre- to post-stretching for the stretched and unstretched limbs. There were no stretching-induced changes (P>0.05) for the joint angle at PT, MP, or MMG amplitude. These findings indicated stretching-induced decreases in force production and muscle activation. The decreases in PT and EMG amplitude for the unstretched limb suggested that the stretching-induced decreases may be due to a central nervous system inhibitory mechanism.

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