The Acute Effects of Different Durations of Static Stretching on Dynamic Balance Performance

Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA.
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Impact Factor: 2.08). 12/2008; 23(1):141-7. DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31818eb052
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of different durations of static stretching on dynamic balance. Women (N = 28) were tested before and after 2 stretching interventions and a control condition on 3 separate days, at least 48 hours apart. The stretching sessions involved a cycle ergometer warm-up at 70 rpm and 70 W followed by passive stretching of the lower-body muscles. Each stretching position was held at a point of mild discomfort and repeated 3 times with 15 seconds between stretches. In the 2 stretching protocols, the positions were maintained for 15 or 45 seconds. The control condition involved the same cycle ergometer warm-up, with a 26-minute rest period between pre- and posttests. Balance was assessed using the Biodex Balance System. A 2-way repeated-measures analysis of variance was used with the effects of study condition (control, 15 seconds, 45 seconds) and time (pre-, postscores). Post hoc paired t-tests were used when appropriate to determine possible statistical significance between pre- and posttest scores. Analyses indicated no significant main effects for either study condition or time. However, there was a significant condition x time interaction (p < 0.05). Post hoc analyses indicated that the 15-second condition produced a significant improvement in the balance scores (p < 0.01), with no significant effects with the control condition or the 45-second treatment. The results of this study reveal that a stretching protocol of 45-second hold durations does not adversely affect balance when using the current stabilometry testing procedure. Furthermore, a stretching intervention with 15-second hold durations may improve balance performance by decreasing postural instability. Strength and conditioning professionals concerned with reported performance limitations associated with static stretching should consider applying shorter-duration stretching protocols when aiming to improve balance performance.

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Available from: Pablo B. Costa, Aug 23, 2014
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    • "A study by Fletcher and Jones used 20 s stretch duration; however, this duration also resulted in detrimental effect on sprint performance. [13] Whereas, some researches utilized the stretch duration of 15 s (Costa et al., 2009, Alpkaya and Koceja, 2007). [4] [27] The result was either neutral or improvement of performance. "

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    • "Behm et al. (2004) and Nagano et al. (2006) reported that balance control was impaired after SS. On the contrary, Costa et al. (2009) reported that SS produced a significant improvement in balance compared to the NS condition. The few studies regarding the effects of SS on balance and the absence of studies evaluating the effects of DS on balance was one of the reasons for conducting this study. "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to compare the acute effects of three different stretching protocols on balance, agility, reaction time and movement time of the upper limbs. Participants were thirty one female high school athletes (age = 17.3 ± 0.5 yr.). All participants performed one of the following protocols on different days: (a) 3 min jogging followed by 7 min static stretching (SS), (b) 3 min jogging followed by 7 min dynamic stretching (DS), and (c) 3 min jogging followed by 7 min of rest (NS). After the protocols participants performed the following tests: dynamic balance, 505 agility test, reaction time (time between a sound stimulus and release of a button) and movement time (movement of the upper extremity over a 0.5 m distance). The order of stretching protocols and performance tests were counterbalanced to avoid carryover effects. Repeated measures analysis of variance revealed significant main effects for all variables except reaction time. The DS protocol compared to SS performed significantly better in balance, agility and movement time. Additionally, the DS protocol compared to NS performed significantly better in agility. According to the results of the study, a DS protocol is more appropriate than SS for activities that require balance, rapid change of running direction (agility) and movement time of the upper extremities. Key pointsStatic stretching has a negative effect on balance and agility performance compared to dynamic stretching.There was no effect of the stretching protocols on reaction time.Dynamic stretching was more effective than static stretching for increasing movement time of the upper extremities.
    Journal of sports science & medicine 05/2014; 13(2):403-409. · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    • "The duration of stretching can also affect balance. Although stretching for a short time resulted in improvement of balance by promoting muscle activity11), stretching for a long time adversely affected balance6, 12). Costa et al. (2009) stated that whereas 15 seconds of stretching improved balance, 45 seconds of stretching did not affect balance11). "
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    ABSTRACT: [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of five minutes of plantar flexor static stretching (PSS) on the balance and gait of the elderly. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-five subjects aged 65 years and above performed 5 min of PSS in the form of wedge board standing. The sway length of each subject's center of mass was measured to examine the subject's static balance. It was measured by one minute of quiet standing with the eyes closed. Functional reach tests (FRTs), timed up and go tests (TUGs), and 10-meter walk tests (10MWTs) were performed to examine dynamic balance and gait before and after PSS. [Results] The outcome showed significant increases in sway distances (6.55 ± 5.03 cm) after stretching. However, in the FRTs, TUGs, and 10MWTs, the reach distance and time did not show any significant changes. [Conclusion] These results suggest that the elderly subjects temporarily experienced difficulties in maintaining balance immediately after the PSS but that their dynamic balance and gait were not adversely affected after a short period of time. Therefore, to prevent falls and perform exercises in a safe way, it is recommended to allow patients to rest after performing PSS.
    Journal of Physical Therapy Science 01/2014; 26(1):131-3. DOI:10.1589/jpts.26.131 · 0.39 Impact Factor
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