A comparison of two muscle energy techniques for increasing flexibility of the hamstring muscle group

Madeleine Smith, Gary Fryer

This study investigated two types of muscle energy techniques that have been advocated in the osteopathic literature that differ primarily in the duration of the post-contraction stretch phase. Forty asymptomatic participants were randomly allocated to one of two groups (Group 1: MET with 30-s post-isometric stretch phase; Group 2: MET with 3-s post-isometric stretch phase). Hamstring length was measured using active knee extension. Post-hoc analysis revealed that the significant differences over time occurred between pre- and post-measurements at both weeks, and between post-Week 1 and pre-Week 2 measurements.

Both techniques appeared to be equally effective in increasing hamstring extensibility, and there appeared to be sustained improvement 1 week following the initial treatment. The findings suggest that altering the duration of the passive stretch component does not have a significant impact on the efficacy of MET for short-term increases in muscle extensibility.

Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 2008, 12(4), 312-317

Link to Abstract