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A Comparison of Two Stretching Protocols on Hip Range of Motion: Implications for Total Daily Stretch Duration.

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2003
Original Article: PDF Only

It is theorized that the total stretch time in a day is more important than the actual single stretch duration time. The purpose of this study was to compare 2 stretching protocols, keeping total stretching time equivalent. The 2 protocols were a 10-second duration stretch and a 30-second duration stretch. Although the stretch durations differed, the total stretching time over the course of a day was held constant at 2 minutes for both protocols. Participants were randomly assigned a protocol to each of their legs: subjects stretched 1 leg with the 10-second protocol and the opposite leg with the 30-second protocol. The 10-second stretch was repeated 6 times for a total of 1 minute; the 30-second protocol was repeated 2 times for a total of 1 minute. Stretching was performed twice daily (a total of 2 minutes each day) for 6 weeks. All stretching was performed to the hamstring muscles. Hip flexion measurements were recorded at pretest, 3-weeks, and 6-weeks. Subjects demonstrated significant gains in range of motion for hip flexion over the course of 6 weeks, p = 0.000. No differences existed between the 2 protocols. Range of motion gains were equal between the 2 stretching protocols. The common denominator was total stretch time for a day. Regardless of the duration of a single stretch, the key to improvement was the total daily stretch time. These findings are important as they allow clinicians and individuals to customize stretching protocols to meet individual needs.

(C) 2003 National Strength and Conditioning Association