Acute effect of different time periods of passive static stretching on the hamstring flexibility

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2017;30(2):241-246. doi: 10.3233/BMR-160740.


Background: Several factors are associated with the presence of chronic low back pain; one of them is the flexibility of the hamstring muscles that influences the posture of the pelvic spine.

Objective: Investigate the influence of two different time periods of passive static stretching on the flexibility of the hamstring.

Methods: Forty-six physiotherapy students were divided into two groups performing stretching exercises: 30 s and 60 s duration. The collections consisted of: (1) pre-test: evaluation of the flexibility of the hip and knee, using a manual goniometer by means of the following tests: Straight Leg Raise Test (SLR), Passive Hip Flexion Test (PHFT) and Modified Knee Extension Test (MKET), (2) intervention: stretching with different runtimes, (3) post-test: reappraisal of flexibility, conducted immediately after the intervention.

Results: Significant difference was observed intra groups, group that did stretching exercises lasting 30 seconds (G30) (SLR p = 0.000. PHFT p = 0.003 and MKET p = 0.000) and group that did stretching exercises lasting 60 seconds (G60) (SLR p = 0.000. PHFT p = 0.001 and MKET p = 0.002). Comparing the groups, no significant difference was found (SLR p = 0.307; PHFT p = 0.904; MKET p = 0.132).

Conclusion: Thus it can be inferred that 30 seconds are sufficient for increased flexibility of young women. Therefore the time-treatment sessions can be optimized. Only the acute effect of stretching was observed; further investigation of the long-term effect is required.

Keywords: Lower extremity; muscle stretching exercises; range of motion; rehabilitation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hamstring Muscles / physiology*
  • Hip Joint / physiology
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises*
  • Posture / physiology
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult