The duration of the inhibitory effects with static stretching on quadriceps peak torque production

J Strength Cond Res. 2008 Jan;22(1):40-6. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31815f970c.


Although several studies have investigated the acute effect of static stretching exercises, the duration of exercises that negatively affects performance has not been ascertained. This study was conducted to determine the acute effect of different static stretching durations on quadriceps isometric and isokinetic peak torque production. The 50 participants were randomly allocated into five equivalent sized groups and were asked to perform a stretching exercise of different duration (no stretch, 10-second stretch, 20-second stretch, 30-second stretch, and 60-second stretch). The knee flexion range of motion and the isometric and concentric isokinetic peak torques of the quadriceps were measured before and after a static stretching exercise in the four experimental groups. The same parameters were examined in the control group (no stretch) without stretching, before and after a 5-minute passive rest. There were no significant differences among groups before the experimentation regarding their physical characteristics and performances (P > 0.05). These results reflect the different groups' homogeneity. Significant knee joint flexibility increases (P < 0.001) and significant isometric and isokinetic peak torque reductions (P < 0.05-0.001) have been shown to occur only after 30 and 60 seconds of quadriceps static stretching. Stretching reduced isometric peak torque by 8.5% and 16.0%, respectively. Concerning isokinetic peak torque after 30 and 60 seconds of stretching, it was reduced by 5.5% vs. 11.6% at 60 degrees/s and by 5.8% vs. 10.0% at 180 degrees/s. We suggest that torque decrements are related to changes of muscle neuromechanical properties. It is recommended that static stretching exercises of a muscle group for more than 30 seconds of duration be avoided before performances requiring maximal strength.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Cohort Studies
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises*
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Probability
  • Quadriceps Muscle / physiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Torque*