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The acute effect of static stretching between sets on the number of repetitions performance in resistance training

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Rest interval between sets in resistance exercises is an important variable that influence on the training volume. The purpose of the current study was to determine the effect of static stretching on the number of repetitions for three consecutive sets upper and lower body exercises. Nine trained men (age: 21,78±2,49 years; height: 171,5±4,62 cm; weight: 73,98±6,62 kg; body fat percentage: 11,1±3,95 %) completed three sets push down and leg extension exercises with 10 repetition maximum, %60 of 1 repetition maximum and %85 of 1 repetition maximum load. Participants took part static stretching and non-stretching conditions that was done on counterbalance. The results of this study demonstrated that the number of repetitions significantly decreased after static stretching for both exercises at all intensities. When compared the two conditions, the number of repetitions after static stretching on set 2 and set 3 was significantly lower than the set 1 for push down exercise at all intensities. However, for leg extension exercise at 10 repetition maximum intensity on set 2 was significantly lower than the set 1 and at %85 of 1 repetition maximum intensity on set 2 and set 3 significantly lower than the set 1. There is no significant difference for leg extension exercise between groups at %60 of 1 repetition maximum intensity. In conclusion, this study indicated that static stretching between consecutive sets has negative effect on the number of repetitions for push down and leg extension exercises. Therefore static stretching should be avoided during the rest period between sets when performing the push down and leg extension exercises.
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International
Journal of Human Sciences
ISSN:2458-9489
Volume 14 Issue 4 Year: 2017
The acute effect of static stretching between sets on the
number of repetitions performance in resistance training
Erbil Murat Aydın1
Yılmaz Uçan2
Hakan Yarar3
Abstract
Rest interval between sets in resistance exercises is an important variable that influence on the
training volume. The purpose of the current study was to determine the effect of static stretching
on the number of repetitions for three consecutive sets upper and lower body exercises. Nine
trained men (age: 21,78±2,49 years; height: 171,5±4,62 cm; weight: 73,98±6,62 kg; body fat
percentage: 11,1±3,95 %) completed three sets push down and leg extension exercises with 10
repetition maximum, %60 of 1 repetition maximum and %85 of 1 repetition maximum load.
Participants took part static stretching and non-stretching conditions that was done on
counterbalance. The results of this study demonstrated that the number of repetitions significantly
decreased after static stretching for both exercises at all intensities. When compared the two
conditions, the number of repetitions after static stretching on set 2 and set 3 was significantly
lower than the set 1 for push down exercise at all intensities. However, for leg extension exercise at
10 repetition maximum intensity on set 2 was significantly lower than the set 1 and at %85 of 1
repetition maximum intensity on set 2 and set 3 significantly lower than the set 1. There is no
significant difference for leg extension exercise between groups at %60 of 1 repetition maximum
intensity. In conclusion, this study indicated that static stretching between consecutive sets has
negative effect on the number of repetitions for push down and leg extension exercises. Therefore
static stretching should be avoided during the rest period between sets when performing the push
down and leg extension exercises.
Keywords: Rest interval; active rest; stretching exercise; resistance exercises; upper body; lower
body.
1. Introduction
Resistance exercises are commonly used to improve muscular strength, power and
endurance. Designing appropriate program to achieve goals of resistance training is the most
important factor (Kraemer and Ratamess, 2004). Resistance trainings contain several variables such
as intensity, frequency, volume, rest intervals (ACSM, 2011; Schoenfeld et al., 2014). Performing
multiple set is more effective than single set for strength gain in resistance exercise training (Rhea et
1
Res. Asst., Abant Izzet Baysal University, School of Physical Education and Sports, Department of Coaching
Education, emurataydin@ibu.edu.tr
2
Asst. Prof., Abant Izzet Baysal University, School of Physical Education and Sports, Department of Coaching
Education, mr_ucan@hotmail.com
3 Asst. Prof., Abant Izzet Baysal University, School of Physical Education and Sports, Department of Coaching
Education, hakanyarar96@hotmail.com
Aydın, E. M., Uçan, Y., & Yarar, H. (2017). The acute effect of static stretching between sets on the number of
repetitions performance in resistance training. Journal of Human Sciences, 14(4), 3913-3922.
doi:10.14687/jhs.v14i4.4865
3914
al., 2002). Resting interval variable between sets is the important for multiple set exercises. Previous
studies reported effects of different duration and activities in rest interval between sets on
performance (Arazi et al., 2015; Blazquez et al., 2013; Evangelista et al., 2011; García-López et al.,
2007; García-López et al., 2010; Hill-Haas et al., 2007; Miranda et al., 2007; Nasiri et al., 2011;
Rahimi, 2005; Ramírez-Campillo et al., 2014; Ratamess et al., 2007; Richmond and Godard, 2004;
Rodrigues et al., 2010; Senna et al., 2009; Silva et al., 2010; Souza et al., 2013; Willardson and
Burkett, 2005; Willardson and Burkett, 2006a; Willardson and Burkett, 2006b; Willardson and
Burkett, 2008). Some studies showed hormonal responses on different rest durations between sets
(Ahtiainen et al., 2005; Boroujerdi and Rahimi, 2008; Bottaro et al., 2009; Buresh et al., 2009;
Rahimi et al., 2010). Studies mentioned above reported effects of rest interval length between 30
seconds (s) to 5 minutes (min) for different exercises with different intensities. Evangelista et al.
(2011) studied the effects of two different rest lengths on total workout volume, number of
repetitions, muscle damage and muscle soreness. According to results of this study 3 min rest
between sets provide greater number of repetitions than 1 min rest in the second set for %40 of
maximum voluntary contraction intensity biceps curl exercise. Willardson and Burkett (2005)
reported that 5 min rest between sets resulted in higher volume completed than 1 min and 3 min
rest for squat and bench press exercises with 8 repetition maximum (RM) load. Rahimi (2005)
reported the 5 min rest interval results in higher volume completed compared to 1 min and 2 min
rest interval for squat exercise at %85 of 1RM load. Richmond and Godard (2004) investigated the
effect of 1, 3 and 5 min rest period for 2 sets bench press at %75 of 1RM load. This study indicated
that there were decreases in the number of repetitions for 3 rest durations. However 8-12
repetitions range was maintained in the 3 and 5 min rest periods. Besides total work performed
second set is higher for 3 and 5 min than 1 min rest period. According to studies mentioned above
longer rest interval resulted in higher number of repetitions or volume completed. Type of activity
between sets is also important for the resistance exercise. Lifters commonly perform stretching
between sets and exercises (García-López et al., 2010). Active recovery and stretching between the
consecutive sets are mostly used by athletes and coaches to diminish the effects of fatigue. Previous
studies demonstrated that static stretching has negative effects on performance which performed
after static stretching (Cornwell et al., 2002; Evetovich et al., 2003; Hough et al., 2009; Kistler et al.,
2010; Kokkonen et al., 1998; Nelson et al., 2005; Paradisis et al., 2014; Pinto et al., 2014; Young and
Behm, 2003). However, little research has reported the effects of stretching between sets on the
number of repetitions or volume completed. Nasiri et al. (2011) investigated the effects of dynamic
stretching between 3 consecutive sets with different rest duration on repetitions performance for
bench press exercise at %50 and %75 of 1RM intensity in untrained men. Researcher reported that
both intensities and rest durations using dynamic stretching between sets resulted in higher
repetitions compared to passive rest for two intensities and two rest durations. Besides there were
no differences between 3 min and 4 min rest duration for two intensities in active rest. However in
passive recovery 4 min rest resulted in higher training volume rather than 3 min rest. Arazi et al.
(2015) studied acute effects of two different stretching methods in the rest periods between sets on
the number of repetitions for upper and lower body exercises at %80 of 1RM intensity. The results
of their study showed that in 3 min and 5 min rest interval, the number of repetitions decreased
throughout the 3 set after the first set. However there were no significant differences between
static, dynamic and non-stretching conditions. Static stretching exercises between consecutive sets
are mostly used by athletes. However few studies have reported the effects of interset static
stretching on the number of repetitions. Therefore, the purpose of present study was to examine
the acute effects of static stretching between sets on the number of repetitions for upper and lower
body exercises at different intensities.
Aydın, E. M., Uçan, Y., & Yarar, H. (2017). The acute effect of static stretching between sets on the number of
repetitions performance in resistance training. Journal of Human Sciences, 14(4), 3913-3922.
doi:10.14687/jhs.v14i4.4865
3915
2. Methods
2.1. Subjects
9 male (age: 21,78±2,49 years; height: 171,5±4,62 cm; weight: 73,98±6,62 kg; body fat
percentage: 11,1±3,95 %) trained subjects who have been doing strength training regularly for last
1 year participated in the study. Approval for this study was obtained from Ethical Committee of
Abant Izzet Baysal University (Decision No: 2016/66). All participants informed about procedures
and participants signed consent form before participation in the study. Participants were instructed
to avoid intensive physical exercises throughout the study. The participants were informed about
not to change their nutritional and sleep habits throughout the study.
2.2. Experimental Protocols
Randomized crossover design was used in this study. Information about the test protocols
and test devices were given to the participants on the first session. On the same session participants
were familiarized with stretching protocols, push down (PD) and leg extension (LE) exercises.
Besides information about the proper technique of the exercise execution was given to the
participants. Familiarization period lasted 1 week. On the second session body height, body mass
and body composition measurement of participants were analyzed. Besides participants performed
10 repetition maximum (10RM) test on the same session. 10RM converted to 1 repetition
maximum (1RM) value by using Brzycki (1993) equations.
1RM= (Weight lifted/ (1.0278 - [0.0278 ×No. of reps])
After the analysis participants separated randomly two groups as non-stretching group
(NS), static stretching group (SS). On the third session participants performed PD and LE exercises
at 10RM intensity. On the fourth session participants performed PD and LE exercises at %85 of
1RM intensity. On the fifth session participants performed PD and LE exercises at %60 of 1RM
intensity. Participants performed PD exercise before LE exercise on the each session. Participants
performed 3 sets each exercise. 3 min resting was given to the NS between sets. SS performed 2
sets and 30s each set static stretching. Static stretching lasted 2 min. SS performed static stretching
last 2 min in 3 min resting period. Experimental methodology is given in Figure 1. Before
performed exercises participants performed 10 min warm-up on treadmill at self-selected velocity
and 1 set exercise warm-up at %50 of 10RM intensity.
Figure 1: Experimental methodology
Aydın, E. M., Uçan, Y., & Yarar, H. (2017). The acute effect of static stretching between sets on the number of
repetitions performance in resistance training. Journal of Human Sciences, 14(4), 3913-3922.
doi:10.14687/jhs.v14i4.4865
3916
2.3. Measurements
Body Composition Measurement
Foot-to-foot bioelectrical impedance analyzer (BIA) (Tanita BC-418 MA; Tanita Corp.,
Japan) was used to obtain the body-fat percentage (%body fat) of the subjects. BIA measurements
were carried out following the manufacturer’s procedures.
Maximal Strength Measurement
10RM method was used to calculate the maximal strength. Participants performed 10 min
warm up on treadmill before 10RM attempt. Then, they performed 1 set low intensity PD exercise.
The initial load was estimated according to participants past experiences. In case the subject could
not perform 10 repetitions in the first attempt, the weight was decreased 4-10 kg. If subject
performed 10 repetitions, weight was increased until subject failure to perform 10 repetitions.
Minimum 3 min rest was given between attempts. Maximum 5 trials allowed on one day.
Participants were verbally motivated throughout the study periods. All tests were performed at the
same time of the day.
Stretching Exercises
Static stretching exercises were performed to triceps and quadriceps muscles. Non-
stretching group didn’t perform any stretching exercises. Participants performed stretching
exercises at mild discomfort for 30s. Stretching exercises for one leg/arm were performed 30s after
that participants change the leg/arm and performed again stretching exercises. Resting wasn’t given
between leg/arm changes. Stretching exercises were performed 2 sets. Time was countered for each
participant by same person by using digital counter. Stretching exercises were given in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Static stretching exercises
2.4. Statistical Analysis
Data are presented as mean ± standard deviation (SD). Before performed statistical
analysis, the normal distribution of data was confirmed by Shapiro-Wilk test. According to Shapiro-
Wilk test results, the variables presented normal distribution. The number of repetitions for PD and
LE exercise was analyzed using 2 (groups) × 3 (time) two way repeated measures analysis of
variances. Bonferroni post-hoc test was applied to examine significant differences between pre-test
Aydın, E. M., Uçan, Y., & Yarar, H. (2017). The acute effect of static stretching between sets on the number of
repetitions performance in resistance training. Journal of Human Sciences, 14(4), 3913-3922.
doi:10.14687/jhs.v14i4.4865
3917
and post tests for each group. Paired sample t-test was used to compare the groups. All statistical
analyses were performed using SPSS 20 package program. Statistical significance level was set at
p<0.05.
3. Results
At 10RM intensity a significant main time effect was shown in the number of repetitions on
sets for LE (F=9,207, p=0,011) (Table 1).There were significant group × time interactions between
set 1 and set 2 (p=0,016), set 1 and set 3 (p=0,031) for LE. A significant main time effect was
shown in the number of repetitions on sets for PD (F=29,732, p=0,000) (Table 2). There were
significant group × time interactions between set 1 and set 2 (p=0,004), set 1 and set 3 (p=0,007)
for PD (Figure 3).
At %60 of 1RM intensity a significant main time effect was shown in the number of
repetitions on sets for LE (F=15,796, p=0,003) (Table 1). No significant group × time interactions
were shown for LE. A significant main time effect was shown in the number of repetitions on sets
for PD (F=56,669, p=0,000) (Table 2). There were significant group × time interactions between
set 1 and set 2 (p=0,007), set 1 and set 3 (p=0,01) for PD (Figure 3).
At %85 of 1RM intensity a significant main time effect was shown in the number of
repetitions on sets for LE (F=17,963, p=0,000) (Table 1). There were significant group × time
interactions between set 1 and set 2 (p=0,016), set 1 and set 3 (p=0,001), set 2 and set 3 (p=0,05)
for LE. A significant main time effect was shown in the number of repetitions on sets for PD
(F=11,581, p=0,001) (Table 2). There were significant group × time interactions between set 1 and
set 2 (p=0,006), set 1 and set 3 (p=0,001) for PD (Figure 3).
Table 1. The numbers of repetitions of groups with different intensities for LE exercise
Intensity
Set 1
Set 2
Set 3
10RM
11,89±1,69
10,22±1,99*
9,33±2,74*
14,05
8,71
11,56±1,24
11,33±1,41
10,78±1,79
1,99
4,85
%60
20,78±5,09
17,22±4,09*
15,33±3,54*#
17,13
10,98
20,67±5,29
18,78±3,56
16,78±3,70*#
9,14
10,65
%85
9,22±2,28
7,56±2,30*
6,67±1,80*#
18,00
11,77
8,56±1,59
8,22±1,64
8,00±1,58
3,97
2,68
Δ% percent change from the previous set
* There is significant difference according to Set 1 (p<0,05)
# There is significant difference according to Set 2 (p<0,05).
Aydın, E. M., Uçan, Y., & Yarar, H. (2017). The acute effect of static stretching between sets on the number of
repetitions performance in resistance training. Journal of Human Sciences, 14(4), 3913-3922.
doi:10.14687/jhs.v14i4.4865
3918
Table 2. The numbers of repetitions of groups with different intensities for PD exercise
Intensity
Groups
Set 1
Set 2
Set 3
10RM
SS
12,22±1,72
9,22±1,20*
7,89±1,69*#
Δ%
24,55
14,43
NS
11,56±1,67
10,78±1,48
10,00±1,87*
Δ%
6,75
7,24
%60
SS
31,89±4,05
23,44±2,40*
19,00±4,30*#
Δ%
26,50
18,94
NS
30,89±2,52
28,22±2,95
23,89±4,05*#
Δ%
8,64
15,34
%85
SS
8,22±2,22
6,11±2,37*
5,67±1,58*
Δ%
25,67
7,20
NS
7,44±1,88
7,44±1,74
7,22±1,79
Δ%
0,00
2,96
Δ% percent change from the previous set
* There is significant difference according to Set 1 (p<0,05).
# There is significant difference according to Set 2 (p<0,05).
Figure 3. Changes of the number of repetitions between groups.
*There is significant difference according to Set 1
#There is significant difference according to Set 2.
Aydın, E. M., Uçan, Y., & Yarar, H. (2017). The acute effect of static stretching between sets on the number of
repetitions performance in resistance training. Journal of Human Sciences, 14(4), 3913-3922.
doi:10.14687/jhs.v14i4.4865
3919
4. Discussion and Conclusion
This study was designed to determine the effects of the interset static stretching on the
number of repetition performance in resistance exercises. According the results of this study after
static stretching, the number of repetitions on set 1 is higher than the other sets for PD exercise at
all intensities. However, the number of repetitions after static stretching on set 1 is higher only at
10RM and %85 intensities for LE exercise. Interset static stretching has negative effects for PD
exercises at all intensities while it has negative effects for LE at 10RM and %85 intensities.
Few studies have examined the effects of interset stretching on the number of repetitions
performance so far. Arazi et al. (2015) reported static and dynamic stretching between sets has no
effects on repetition performance for trained male bodybuilders. García-López et al. (2010)
investigated the effects of static and ballistic stretching between sets on acceleration-deceleration
and lifting velocity profiles and number of repetitions performance for bench press exercise. The
results of their study showed that there were decreases in the number of repetitions for 3
treatments. However there was no significant difference between treatments. Nasiri et al. (2013)
found that there was less decrease in the number of repetitions after dynamic stretching compared
to passive rest between sets for untrained men at %75 intensity of 1RM. Nasiri et al. (2011)
investigated the effect of dynamic stretching between 3 consecutive sets with different rest duration
on repetition performance for bench press exercise at %50 and %75 of 1RM intensity in untrained
men. Researcher reported that both intensities and rest durations using dynamic stretching between
sets resulted in higher repetition compared to passive rest for two intensities and two rest interval
durations.
It has been suggested that neural and mechanical factors responsible for the decrement of
muscular performance after static stretching (Ogura et al., 2007; Paradisis et al., 2014). Stiffer
musculotendinous unit (MTU) more effective to force generated by muscles transmitted to skeletal
system than compliant MTU (Kokkonen et al., 1998). Stored elastic energy is a function of MTU
stiffness (Shorten, 1987). Kubo et al. (2001) reported that the 10 min static stretching decreased the
stiffness of the tendon structure. Because of static stretching reduces the stiffness of MTU, stored
and used elastic energy after static stretching less than the stiffer MTU (Sayers et al., 2008). Also
stretching exercises increase in muscle compliance which may limit the more cross bridge coupling
thus force production capacity of muscle decreases after stretching (Rubini et al., 2007).
Neurologically, static stretching may cause decrease in muscle activation (Hough et al., 2009).
Fowles et al. (2000) reported that motor unit activation significantly decreased after prolonged (30
min) stretching. Motor unit activation had recovered by 15 min while maximum voluntary
contraction depressed up to 60 min. Therefore, changes in the mechanical properties of the MTU
could be responsible for the decrease in muscle strength rather than neural factors.
In summary, the current study showed that static stretching between three consecutive sets
affected negatively the numbers of repetitions for upper and lower body resistance exercises with
different intensities. It could be noted that both the mechanical and neurological factors may be
responsible for the decrease in the number of repetitions after static stretching.
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... They reported similar adaptations for 1RM between ISS and traditional RT [TR] in untrained individuals using a static stretch after 16 training sessions [10]. Similarly, while strength endurance is acutely negatively impacted by ISS [17,18], chronically this does not hold. Souza et al. 2013 found no difference with ISS compared to TR on an 8RM test for 6 exercises covering the whole-body in strength-trained individuals [7]. ...
... Instructions were given to attempt to produce as little tension as possible at their chest to attain a better stretch, while holding their torso upright and perpendicular to the ground for 30 seconds. The duration and load of the stretch was selected based on previous literature incorporating ISS [7,10,18] and piloting sessions within our lab. The subjects were familiarized with this stretch prior to the first training session. ...
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The study examined the effects of adding a loaded stretch in the inter- set rest period (ISS) compared to traditional resistance training (TR) on muscular adaptations in resistance-trained males. Twenty-six subjects were randomly assigned into two groups (ISS: n=12; TR: n=14) and underwent an 8-week training regimen. Subjects in ISS underwent an additional loaded stretch for 30s at 15% of their working load from the prior set during the inter-set rest periods. Muscle thickness of the Pectoralis Major at the belly (BMT) and lateral (LMT) portions, 1RM and repetitions-to-failure (RTF) on the bench press exercise were measured at baseline and post 8-weeks of training. Additionally, volume load and perceptual parameters for exertion and recovery were measured. Both groups had similar total volume load and average perceptual parameters (p>0.05). There was a main time effect (p < 0.01) for all but one dependent variable indicating that both groups responded similarly across time [(∆BMT: ISS=2.7±1.7 mm; TR=3.0±2.2 mm), (∆LMT: ISS=3.2±1.6 mm; TR=2.8±1.7 mm, (∆1RM: ISS=6.6±3.8 kg; TR=7.5±5.7 kg;). Repetitions-to-failure did not change in either group (∆RTF: ISS=0.0±2.1 repetitions; TR=0.0±2.3 repetitions, p>0.05). Our results suggest that addition of a loaded ISS does not affect muscular adaptations either positively or negatively in resistance-trained males.
... They reported similar adaptations for 1RM between ISS and traditional RT [TR] in untrained individuals using a static stretch after 16 training sessions [10]. Similarly, while strength endurance is acutely negatively impacted by ISS [17,18], chronically this does not hold. Souza et al. 2013 found no difference with ISS compared to TR on an 8RM test for 6 exercises covering the whole-body in strength-trained individuals [7]. ...
... Instructions were given to attempt to produce as little tension as possible at their chest to attain a better stretch, while holding their torso upright and perpendicular to the ground for 30 seconds. The duration and load of the stretch was selected based on previous literature incorporating ISS [7,10,18] and piloting sessions within our lab. The subjects were familiarized with this stretch prior to the first training session. ...
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--[Correction: Table 2 updated to match text description of training program]-- The study examined the effects of adding a loaded stretch in the inter- set rest period (ISS) compared to traditional resistance training (TR) on muscular adaptations in resistance-trained males. Twenty-six subjects were randomly assigned into two groups (ISS: n=12; TR: n=14) and underwent an 8-week training regimen. Subjects in ISS underwent an additional loaded stretch for 30s at 15% of their working load from the prior set during the inter-set rest periods. Muscle thickness of the Pectoralis Major at the belly (BMT) and lateral (LMT) portions, 1RM and repetitions-to-failure (RTF) on the bench press exercise were measured at baseline and post 8-weeks of training. Additionally, volume load and perceptual parameters for exertion and recovery were measured. Both groups had similar total volume load and average perceptual parameters (p>0.05). There was a main time effect (p < 0.01) for all but one dependent variable indicating that both groups responded similarly across time [(∆BMT: ISS=2.7±1.7 mm; TR=3.0±2.2 mm), (∆LMT: ISS=3.2±1.6 mm; TR=2.8±1.7 mm, (∆1RM: ISS=6.6±3.8 kg; TR=7.5±5.7 kg;). Repetitions-to-failure did not change in either group (∆RTF: ISS=0.0±2.1 repetitions; TR=0.0±2.3 repetitions, p>0.05). Our results suggest that addition of a loaded ISS does not affect muscular adaptations either positively or negatively in resistance-trained males.
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