The purpose of this study was to compare a 5-minute treadmill activity at 70% maximum heart rate (MHR) and 5 to 6 minutes of ballistic stretching to a 5-minute treadmill activity at 60% of MHR and 5 to 6 minutes of static stretching. Thirty healthy college students, 7 men and 23 women, volunteered. Most volunteers were moderately active. All participants signed an informed consent. Participants received the aforementioned warm-ups in random order with 48 to 72 hours between warm-ups. The stretching exercises were a back stretch, a quad- riceps stretch, and a hamstring stretch. Three trials for 30 seconds each were given. After each warm-up the participants performed the modified-modified Schober test for low back flexibility, active knee extension test for hamstring flexibility, and plantar flexion for ankle flexibility. There were no significant differences on any of the 3 range of motion (ROM) tests although the ankle ROM test was almost significantly greater (68.8[degrees]) after the warm-up with static stretching compared with 65.9[degrees] after the warm-up with ballistic stretching. A more intense cardiovascular activity and ballistic stretching were similar to a less intense cardiovascular activity and static stretching on flexibility. If athletes perform a warm-up and static or ballistic stretching before their workouts, then they should continue to perform the warm-up and the stretching routine with which they are most familiar and comfortable.
(C) 2007 National Strength and Conditioning Association