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

Covert, Christopher A1; Alexander, Melanie P2; Petronis, John J3; Davis, D Scott3

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181bf3bb0
Original Research

Covert, CA, Alexander, MP, Petronis, JJ, and Davis, DS. Comparison of ballistic and static stretching on hamstring muscle length using an equal stretching dose. J Strength Cond Res 24(11): 3008-3014, 2010-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° 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 × 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.

Author Information

1Mountain River Physical Therapy, Parkersburg, West Virginia; 2The PT Group, Jeannette, Pennsylvania; and 3Department of Human Performance and Exercise Science, Division of Physical Therapy, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia

Address correspondence to Dr. Duane S. Davis,

© 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association