Acute muscle stretching inhibits muscle strength endurance performance

J Strength Cond Res. 2005 May;19(2):338-43. doi: 10.1519/R-15894.1.


Since strength and muscular strength endurance are linked, it is possible that the inhibitory influence that prior stretching has on strength can also extend to the reduction of muscle strength endurance. To date, however, studies measuring muscle strength endurance poststretching have been criticized because of problems with their reliability. The purpose of this study was twofold: both the muscle strength endurance performance after acute static stretching exercises and the repeatability of those differences were measured. Two separate experiments were conducted. In experiment 1, the knee-flexion muscle strength endurance exercise was measured by exercise performed at 60 and 40% of body weight following either a no-stretching or stretching regimen. In experiment 2, using a test-retest protocol, a knee-flexion muscle strength endurance exercise was performed at 50% body weight on 4 different days, with 2 tests following a no-stretching regimen (RNS) and 2 tests following a stretching regimen (RST). For experiment 1, when exercise was performed at 60% of body weight, stretching significantly (p < 0.05) reduced muscle strength endurance by 24%, and at 40% of body weight, it was reduced by 9%. For experiment 2, reliability was high (RNS, intraclass correlation = 0.94; RST, intraclass correlation = 0.97). Stretching also significantly (p < 0.05) reduced muscle strength endurance by 28%. Therefore, it is recommended that heavy static stretching exercises of a muscle group be avoided prior to any performances requiring maximal muscle strength endurance.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hip
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Pliability
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Task Performance and Analysis*
  • Thigh
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*