Hamstring flexibility increases the same with 3 or 9 repetitions of stretching held for a total time of 90 s

Phys Ther Sport. 2014 May;15(2):101-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2013.03.006. Epub 2013 Jul 26.


Objective: To determine if stretching for a constant total time with differing repetition durations and number of repetitions over a 6-week period produced different changes in hamstring flexibility measured by knee extension range of motion (ROM).

Design: Randomized Control Trial.

Setting: University laboratory.

Subjects: 34 volunteers, 18-25 years old with tight hamstrings as determined by a greater than 30° loss of knee extension with hip flexed to 90° participated in the study.

Main outcome measures: Change in knee extension ROM was assessed in participants who were randomly assigned to a control, or to a stretching group of either 10 s for 9 repetitions or 30 s for 3 repetitions, for a total stretch time of 90 s. Each group stretched 6 days a week for 6 weeks.

Results: Pre to post stretch comparison indicated both stretching groups were successful in increasing joint ROM (11.6 ± 5.25°-13.4 ± 5.36°) over the control (F = 19.77, p < 0.003). However, there was no significant difference between the stretching groups (p = 0.9).

Conclusion: Stretching for 6 weeks for total of 90 s showed increased joint ROM regardless of the number of repetitions or the duration of each individual stretch.

Keywords: Knee range of motion; Stretch duration; Stretch repetition; Stretch tolerance.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology*
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Young Adult