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Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: January 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue - p 1
doi: 10.1097/01.JSC.0000367067.07447.df

While considerable debate has surrounded the potential effects of dynamic (DS) and static (SS) stretching on performance outcomes, very little has been done to directly compare the two modes of stretching, particularly in both male and female high-level athletes. Furthermore, many of the SS protocols have used unrealistic stretching durations. To compare the effects of externally valid SS and DS lower body stretching protocols on vertical jump and knee extension and flexion peak torque in high-level male and female soccer players. Male (n = 11, Mheight = 1.8 +/−0.1 m; Mweight = 75.7 +/−7.4kg) and female (n = 10, Mheight = 1.6 +/−0.1 m, Mweight = 64.6 +/−5.7 kg) Division I college soccer players participated in the study. Following an initial familiarization session that included instruction and practice of the stretches and tests to be used in the study, subjects were randomly assigned to order of completion of SS and DS conditions, which were separated by at least 3 days. Following a 5 min systemic warm-up, each of the stretching protocols lasted approximately 15 min and focused on the lower body and core. After stretching, subjects performed 2 efforts of a countermovement vertical jump with no arm swing (CMVJ) using a Just Jump mat (Probotics, Inc.), and knee extension and flexion with their dominant leg at 180°·s−1 and 300°·s−1 on a Biodex System 3 isokinetic dynamometer (Biodex Medical Systems, Inc.). The best effort for the CMVJ was used and peak torque was measured at each speed on the Biodex. Compared to SS, DS produced greater performance for CMVJ (SS = 18.6 +/−3.8 in; DS = 20.0 +/−4.4in; p = .001), peak torque at 180 °·s−1 for flexion (SS = 49.5 +/−18.2 ft-lbs; DS = 53.4 +/−18.8 ft-lbs; p = .039), and peak torque at 300 °·s−1 for both extension (SS = 72.2 +/−21.3 ft-lbs; DS = 79.1 +/−24.3 ft-lbs; p = .027) and flexion (SS = 41.6 +/−13.1 ft-lbs; DS = 45.6 +/−14.1 ft-lbs; p = .03). Gender differences emerged for all variables (P.1 0). Compared to static stretching, dynamic stretching resulted in significantly greater vertical jump height and peak torque for knee extension and flexion in both male and female soccer players. These findings are particularly notable given that these measures have previously been associated with greater performance and success in high-level soccer players. It appears that static stretching as part of a warm-up is not an effective tool to improve key performance markers in high-level male and female soccer players. Instead, coaches and athletes should consider using dynamic stretching as part of their warm-up protocol to facilitate enhanced performance on movements associated with greater success in soccer.

© 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association