No difference in pre- and postexercise stretching on flexibility

J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Aug;21(3):780-3. doi: 10.1519/R-20736.1.


According to the American College of Sports Medicine (1), there is limited information about when to stretch during an exercise session. The purpose of this study was to determine if the placement of static stretching, either before or after a workout, would affect flexibility in the hip, knee, and ankle. Thirty college-age men (n = 12) and women (n = 18) volunteered to participate. Nine were highly trained, 13 were moderately trained, and 8 were sedentary. Subjects participated in both treatments, which were randomly assigned and were 48-72 hours apart. In one treatment, subjects warmed-up first by walking on a treadmill for 5 minutes at approximately 50% of their age-predicted maximum heart rate, and then performed 3 static stretches: quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles. Each stretch was held 3 times, 15 seconds each. Next, flexibility measurements were determined for the hip, hamstrings, and ankle using a goniometer. The other treatment consisted of performing 20 minutes of walking or jogging at a moderate intensity, then the same stretching exercises were performed and the same flexibility measurements were taken. Reliability coefficients ranged from 0.90-0.96. There were no significant differences in any of the flexibility measurements except for hip flexibility, which approached significance (p = 0.06) and therefore favored stretching after the workout. The placement of stretching, before or after a workout, does not make a difference in its effect on flexibility.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Joint / physiology
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Hip Joint / physiology
  • Humans
  • Jogging / physiology
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Pliability
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Walking / physiology