Effects of intense "stretching"-flexibility training on the mechanical profile of the knee extensors and on the range of motion of the hip joint

Int J Sports Med. 1985 Dec;6(6):317-21. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1025862.


The sample for the study involved 12 volunteer male, active but not specially trained secondary school students. They averaged 15.33 years with a mean height of 168.20 cm, and a mean mass of 55.08 kg. Changes, if any, in the mechanical properties (MVC, half-relaxation time, fast isometric contraction, concentric contraction of the knee extensors) and flexibility of the hip joints were studied. The subjects executed passive, purely slow stretching as well as range-of-motion flexibility exercises for the knee extensors and the hip joints for 7 weeks three times a week. Pre- and post-measurements for flexibility and stride frequency on the spot showed significant improvement as did half-relaxation time, fast isometric force development, and speed of concentric contractions when low loads were to be overcome. In addition to studies in which improvements reported were attributed to and related to myoelectrical, reflex, and connective tissue changes, in the present study it was concluded that stretching exercises influence intrinsic muscle mechanical character along with a simultaneous improvement in range of motion of the joints exercised.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Hip Joint / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Knee / physiology*
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Physical Exertion*