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, 16 (6), 618-22

The Effects of Dynamic Stretching on Plantar Flexor Muscle-Tendon Tissue Properties

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The Effects of Dynamic Stretching on Plantar Flexor Muscle-Tendon Tissue Properties

Mina Samukawa et al. Man Ther.

Abstract

Dynamic stretching is commonly used in warm-up routines for athletic activities. Even though several positive effects of dynamic stretching on athletic performance have been reported, the effects on the muscle-tendon unit (MTU) itself are still unclear. The objective of this study is to determine the effects of dynamic stretching on the ankle plantar flexor muscle-tendon properties by use of ultrasonography. Twenty healthy male subjects participated in the present study. The subjects were asked to engage in dynamic stretching of plantar flexors for 30 s and to repeat for 5 sets. Ankle dorsiflexion ROM was measured before and after the dynamic stretching. Changes in the displacement of the myotendinous junction (MTJ), pennation angle, and fascicle length were also determined by using ultrasonography. Ankle dorsiflexion ROM increased significantly after the dynamic stretching (p < 0.0001). A significant distal displacement of the MTJ was observed until the second stretching set (p < 0.001) with no significant changes thereafter. Pennation angle, and fascicle length were unaffected by the dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching was shown to be effective in increasing ankle joint flexibility. Outcomes that could have indicated changes in muscle tissue (such as the pennation angle and fascicle length) were unaltered. However, a significant displacement of the MTJ was found, indicating some change in the tendon tissues. Therefore, dynamic stretching of the plantar flexors was considered an effective means of lengthening the tendon tissues.

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