The aim of this study was to examine whether an acute bout of active or dynamic hamstring stretching exercises to reduce the amount of muscle damage seen after a strenuous eccentric task and to determine whether the stretching protocols elicit similar responses. Thirty-six young male students performed 5 minutes of jogging as a warm-up and were place in to one of three groups: 3 minutes of stretching (static active stretching (SAS), 3 minutes of dynamic active stretching (DAS), or control (CON). All subjects performed eccentric exercise immediately after stretching. Heart rate (HR), core temperature (CT), maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC), passive hip flexion, passive hamstring stiffness (PHS), plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity, and myoglobin (Mb) were recorded at pre-stretching, at post-stretching, and on every day following the eccentric exercises for 5 days. Following stretching, the change in hip flexion was significantly higher in the SAS (5°) and DAS (10.8°) groups than in the CON (-4.1°) group. The change in PHS was significantly higher in the DAS (5.6%) group than in the CON (-5.7%) and SAS (-6.7%) groups. Additionally, changes in muscle damage markers were smaller in the SAS group than in the DAS and CON groups.
Before active stretching application could be beneficial for attenuating the symptoms of muscle damage after eccentric exercise. SAS is recommended over DAS as a stretching protocol in terms of strength, hamstring ROM, and damage markers.