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Static Stretching Impairs Sprint Performance in Collegiate Track and Field Athletes

Winchester, Jason B1; Nelson, Arnold G1; Landin, Dennis1; Young, Michael A1; Schexnayder, Irving C2

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31815ef202
Original Research
Abstract

Previous research has shown that static stretching (SS) can diminish the peak force output of stretch-shortening cycle actions while performing a dynamic warm-up (DW) protocol has been shown to enhance performance in similar activities. The purpose of this study was to establish whether the deleterious effects of SS would wash out the performance enhancements obtained from the DW. Eleven males and 11 females, who were athletes of a NCAA Division I track team, performed a DW followed with either a SS or rest (NS) condition. After warm-up was completed, three 40 m sprints were performed to investigate the effects of the SS condition on sprint performance when preceded by DW. Time(s) were obtained from timing gates placed at 0, 20, and 40 m respectively. Testing was conducted over 2 days with a 1 week washout period. Testing order was balanced to eliminate possible order effect. Time for the NS versus the SS group was significantly faster for the second 20 m with a time of 2.41 versus 2.38 seconds (P ≤ .05), and for the entire 40 m with a time of 5.6 ± 0.4 versus 5.7 ± 0.4 seconds (P ≤ .05). The results of this study suggest that performing a SS protocol following a DW will inhibit sprint performance in collegiate athletes.

Author Information

1Department of Kinesiology; 2Athletics Department, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Address correspondence to Jason B. Winchester, jwinch2@lsu.edu.

© 2008 National Strength and Conditioning Association