The effects of acute stretching on hamstring muscle fatigue and perceived exertion

  • Laur D
  • Anderson T
  • Geddes G
 et al. 
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The aim of this study was to examine the effects of an acute stretching regime on hamstring muscle fatigue and rating of perceived exertion during a dynamic, sub-maximal bout of resistance exercise. Sixteen healthy males (age 25.7 f 4.3 years, height 1.8 1 f 0.06 m, body mass 87.5 f 15.1 kg; mean f s) and 16 healthy females (age 24.9 + 4.5 years, height 1.67 f 0.06 m, body mass 62.9 + 9.4 kg) volunteered to participate in two experimental sessions. After establishing their one-repetition maximum for the hamstring curl, the participants were assigned at random to one of two groups. Group 1 performed three bouts of 20 s hamstring stretches with the assistance of one of the investigators, while group 2 did not perform the stretches; instead, they sat resting for 3 min. Then, after stretching or resting, the participants performed as many hamstring curls as they could at 60% of their one-repetition maximum established earlier. All participants were assessed for their perceived exertion using a modified Borg category ratio (CR-10) scale. The participants returned within 1 week to complete the experiment. This time group 1 did not perform hamstring stretches, whereas group 2 did. As on the first occasion, all participants performed hamstring curls after stretching or resting. The participants in group 1 were able to perform more curls on the second day of testing than their counterparts in group 2. There were no significant differences between males and females or between the stretch and non-stretch conditions. There was a significantly higher first repetition rating of perceived exertion for the stretch condition (2.88 + 1.01) than for the non-stretch condition (2.50 f 0.95); there was no significant difference in the median ratings of perceived exertion between the stretch and non-stretch conditions. Significantly higher power function exponents were exhibited in the non-stretch (0.57 + 0.16) than in the stretch condition (0.5 1 f 0.12). In addition, females exhibited significantly higher power function exponents than males, irrespective of stretch condition and day (females: 0.59 f 0.12; males: 0.49 + 0.11). In conclusion, we found a small but statistically significant effect of an acute bout of stretching on ratings of perceived exertion during fatiguing hamstring muscle resistance exercise.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Flexibility
  • Hamstrings
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Perceived exertion

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  • David J. Laur

  • Trevor Anderson

  • Gene Geddes

  • Alan Crandall

  • Danny M. Pincivero

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