Different volumes and intensities of static stretching affect the range of motion and muscle force output in well-trained subjects

Sports Biomech. 2022 Feb;21(2):155-164. doi: 10.1080/14763141.2019.1648540. Epub 2019 Aug 29.


The manipulation of the volume and intensity of static stretching (SS) can affect the range of motion (ROM) and muscle force output. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of two different SS protocols with different intensities (50% and 85% POD) and volumes (120-s and 240-s) on ROM, peak force, and muscle activity during maximal isometric leg curl exercise in well-trained participants. Fifteen young males (age:27.5 ± 6.1years, height:175.6 ± 4.7cm, and body mass:81.5 ± 10.4kg, 6 ± 2 years of resistance training experience) performed passive hip flexion with two different SS protocols: six stretches of 40-s, with 15-sec rest between each stretch at 50% of the point of discomfort (POD) and three stretches of 40-s, with 15-sec rest between each stretch at 85%POD. The passive hip flexion ROM, biceps femoris muscle activation (integrated electromyography: IEMG), and knee flexors force were monitored during a 3-s maximal voluntary isometric leg curl exercise. ROM increased between pre- and post-intervention for both SS protocols (50%POD: p = 0.016, Δ% = 4.6% and 85%POD: p < 0.001, Δ% = 11.42%). Peak force decreased between pre- and post-intervention only for 85%POD (p = 0.004, Δ% = 23.6%). There were no significant IEMG differences. In conclusion, both SS protocols increased ROM, however, the high-intensity and short-duration SS protocol decreased peak force.

Keywords: exercise; flexibility; strength.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Electromyography
  • Hamstring Muscles*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises*
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Young Adult