A stretching program increases the dynamic passive length and passive resistive properties of the calf muscle-tendon unit of unconditioned younger women.
ABSTRACT This study examined the effects of a 6-week stretching program on the dynamic passive elastic properties of the calf muscle-tendon unit (MTU) of unconditioned younger women. After random assignment of 12 women (age 18-31 years) to a stretching group (SG) or to a control group (CG), six subjects in the SG and four subjects in the CG completed the study. For the initial tests, a Kin-Com dynamometer moved the ankle from plantarflexion to maximal dorsiflexion (DF) with negligible surface EMG activity in the soleus, gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior muscles. Angular displacement, passive resistive torque, area under the curve (passive elastic energy) and stiffness variables were reduced from the passive DF torque curves. The SG then completed ten static wall stretches held 15 s each, five times a week for 6 weeks, the CG did not. The tests were repeated and the changes between the tests and retests were examined for group differences (Mann-Whitney U). The SG had significant increases in the maximal passive DF angle (7 degrees +/- 4 degrees ), maximal passive DF torque (11.2 +/- 8.3 N m), full stretch range of motion (23 degrees +/- 24 degrees ), full stretch mean torque (3.4 +/- 2.1 N m), and area under the full stretch curve (22.7 +/- 23.5 degrees N m) compared to the CG (P < or = 0.019). The passive stiffness did not change significantly. The results showed that a stretching program for unconditioned calf MTUs increased the maximal DF angle and length extensibility, as well as the passive resistive properties throughout the full stretch range of motion. The adaptations within the calf MTU provide evidence that stretching enhances the dynamic passive length and passive resistive properties in unconditioned younger women.
- SourceAvailable from: Emika Kato01/2013; 2013:1-8. DOI:10.1155/2013/171809
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate the chronic effects of a static stretching program on the muscle architecture of biceps femoris (BF) and vastus lateralis (VL) muscles in ultrasound (US) images. Randomized controlled longitudinal trial. Biomechanics Laboratory of Physical Education School of the Army, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The study included 24 healthy and physically active male volunteers (19.05 ± 1.40 years, 1.73 ± 0.07 m, and 73.15 ± 8.33 kg), randomly allocated to 1 of 2 groups: stretching group (SG, n = 12) and control group (n = 12). The SG was submitted to 3 sets of 30 seconds of static stretching 3 times a week during 8 weeks. Ultrasound equipment (7.5 MHz) was used for the evaluation of BF and VL muscle architecture variables (pennation angle, fiber length, muscle thickness, and fascicle displacement) before and after training. Knee range of motion (ROM) and isometric flexion and extension torque (TQ) were also measured. There were no significant changes in muscle architecture, TQ, and maximum knee flexion angle (P > 0.05). However, maximum knee extension angle (MEA) increased significantly in the SG (pretraining: 159.37 ± 7.27 degrees and posttraining: 168.9 ± 3.7 degrees; P < 0.05). Volume or intensity (or both) of the stretching protocol was insufficient to cause structural changes in the VL and BF muscles. The increase in MEA could not be explained by muscle architecture changes. To describe changes in the VL and BF muscle tendon unit using US after a long-term stretching program to identify which structures are responsible for ROM increase.Clinical journal of sport medicine: official journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine 01/2014; 25(1). DOI:10.1097/JSM.0000000000000069 · 2.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Skeletal muscle undergoes continuous turnover to adapt to changes in its mechanical environment. Overload increases muscle mass, whereas underload decreases muscle mass. These changes are correlated with, and enabled by, structural alterations across the molecular, subcellular, cellular, tissue, and organ scales. Despite extensive research on muscle adaptation at the individual scales, the interaction of the underlying mechanisms across the scales remains poorly understood. Here, we present a thorough review and a broad classification of multiscale muscle adaptation in response to a variety of mechanical stimuli. From this classification, we suggest that a mathematical model for skeletal muscle adaptation should include the four major stimuli, overstretch, understretch, overload, and underload, and the five key players in skeletal muscle adaptation, myosin heavy chain isoform, serial sarcomere number, parallel sarcomere number, pennation angle, and extracellular matrix composition. Including this information in multiscale computational models of muscle will shape our understanding of the interacting mechanisms of skeletal muscle adaptation across the scales. Ultimately, this will allow us to rationalize the design of exercise and rehabilitation programs, and improve the long-term success of interventional treatment in musculoskeletal disease.Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology 09/2014; 14(2). DOI:10.1007/s10237-014-0607-3 · 3.25 Impact Factor