Stretching versus strength training in lengthened position in subjects with tight hamstring muscles: A randomized controlled trial

Cecília F. Aquino, Sérgio T. Fonseca, Gabriela G.P. Gonçalves, Paula L.P. Silva, Juliana M. Ocarino and Marisa C. Mancini

The objective of this study was to compare changes in hamstrings flexibility, peak torque angle and stretch tolerance after two training programs: stretching and strengthening in a lengthened position. Forty-five subjects with tight hamstrings were randomly assigned into three groups: control, stretching and strength training in lengthened position. The interventions were performed three times a week for eight weeks. The data analysis demonstrated that strengthening in lengthened position changed peak torque angle in the direction of knee extension. No change in flexibility was observed. Both experimental groups showed an increase in stretch tolerance.

The results demonstrated that strengthening in a lengthened position produced a shift of the torque–angle curve, which suggests an increase in muscle length. Conversely, stretching did not produce modification of torque–angle curve and flexibility; its effects appear restricted to increases in stretch tolerance.

Manual Therapy, 25 July 2009, online article ahead of press

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