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Chronic Effect of Static Stretching on Strength Performance and Basal Serum IGF-1 Levels

Borges Bastos, Carmen L.1; Miranda, Humberto2; Gomes de Souza Vale, Rodrigo3; de Nazaré Portal, Maria3; Gomes, M. Thiago2; da Silva Novaes, Jefferson2; Winchester, Jason B.4

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 9 - p 2465–2472
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31828054b7
Original Research

Borges Bastos, CL, Miranda, H, Vale, RGS, Portal, MDN, Gomes, TM, Novaes, JS, and Winchester, JB. Chronic effect of static stretching on strength performance and basal serum IGF-1 levels. J Strength Cond Res 27(9): 2465–2472, 2013—Improving the process of how physical performance is enhanced is one of the main topics evaluated by physiologists. This process often involves athletes and nonathletic populations. The purpose of this study was to assess the chronic response to 10 weeks of static stretching exercises carried out before and during a strength training program for 8 exercises on an 8 repetition maximum (8RM) test performance, and basal serum insulinlike growth factor (IGF-1) levels. Thirty recreationally trained volunteers were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 training groups: (a) SBST (performed a warm-up with a static stretching protocol before each strength training session); (b) SDST (before each training set, a static stretching exercise was performed); and (c) OST (entire session was performed without any type of stretching exercise). Strength and IGF-1 levels were collected at the beginning (pretest) and end (posttest) of the entire experimental procedure. All the exercises showed a significant increase in muscle strength for the OST group. However, the results revealed a significant increase in the muscle strength for only a few exercises in the SBST (LP, LE) and SDST (LP) experimental conditions. Significant statistical differences were found between SBST and SDST for all the exercises in the OST experimental condition. Furthermore, the IGF-1 expression showed no significant differences in the intragroup analysis. However, the OST group showed higher values (p < 0.05) in the posttest when compared with those of the other groups (increased significantly only in the OST experimental condition). It has been concluded that, although all the groups showed an increase in muscular strength, the strength training performed without any type of stretching exercise, regardless of whether the stretching is performed before or during the lifting session, can more effectively increase muscle strength and basal serum IGF-1 levels. It was concluded that strength training, with or without the use of stretching exercises, increased muscular strength in the studied groups, and can induce an increase in IGF-1 levels.

1University of Trás Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

2Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, School of Physical Education and Sports, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

3Physical Education Postgraduation Program in Human Science Motricity, University Castelo Branco, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

4Department of Athletic Training and Exercise Physiology, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas

Address correspondence to Dr. Humberto Miranda,

Copyright © 2013 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.