Comparison of Ballistic and Static Stretching on Hamstring Muscle Length Using an Equal Stretching Dose.

The purpose of this investigation was to determine which stretching technique, static or ballistic, is most effective for increasing hamstring muscle length when delivered at the same stretching dose over a 4-week training program. A single-blind, randomized controlled trial design was used in this investigation. Thirty-two participants (16 women and 16 men) between the ages of 18 and 27 years participated in the study. All participants who had a pre-training knee extension angle of less than 20 degrees were excluded from the study. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of 3 groups: ballistic stretching, static stretching, or control group. Participants in the experimental stretching groups (ballistic and static stretching) performed one 30-second stretch 3 times per week for a period of 4 weeks. Statistical analysis consisted of a 2-way analysis of variance (group x sex) with an a priori alpha level of 0.05. No interaction between group and sex was identified (p = 0.4217). The main effect of sex was not statistically significant (p = 0.2099). The main effect for group was statistically significant at p < 0.0001.

Post hoc analysis revealed that both static and ballistic stretching group produced greater increases in hamstring length than the control group. The static stretching group demonstrated a statistically greater increase in hamstring muscle length than the ballistic stretching group. No injuries or complications were attributed to either stretching program.

Covert CA, Alexander MP, Petronis JJ, Davis DS.  Comparison of Ballistic and Static Stretching on Hamstring Muscle Length Using an Equal Stretching Dose. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr 1, online article ahead of print

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