Acute effects of antagonist static stretching in the inter-set rest period on repetition performance and muscle activation

Res Sports Med. 2015;23(1):37-50. doi: 10.1080/15438627.2014.975812.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of antagonist passive static stretching (AS) during the inter-set rest period on repetition performance and muscle activation. Ten trained men (22.4 ± 0.9 years) participated in this study. Two protocols were adopted: Passive recovery (PR)--three sets to repetition failure were performed for the seated row (SR) with two-minute rest interval between sets without pre-exercise stretching; AS--forty seconds of stretching was applied to pectoralis major prior to each set of SR. Significant increases in the number of repetitions were noted under AS compared with PR (p < 0.05). Significant increases on latissimus dorsi (p = 0.002) and biceps brachii (p = 0.001) muscle activity were noted inter-sets under the AS compared with the PR condition. Therefore, the AS adopted during the inter-set rest period may enhance repetition performance and activation of agonist muscles in an acute manner.

Keywords: Electromyography; muscle strength; resistance training; rest interval; static stretching.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Electromyography
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Resistance Training*
  • Rest / physiology*