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Acute Effects of Different Methods of Stretching and Specific Warm-ups on Muscle Architecture and Strength Performance

Sá, Marcos A.1; Matta, Thiago T.1,2; Carneiro, Simone P.1; Araujo, Carolina O.1; Novaes, Jefferson S.1; Oliveira, Liliam F.1,2

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: August 2016 - Volume 30 - Issue 8 - p 2324–2329
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001317
Original Research

Sá, MA, Matta, TT, Carneiro, SP, Araujo, CO, Novaes, JS, and Oliveira, LF. Acute effects of different methods of stretching and specific warm-ups on muscle architecture and strength performance. J Strength Cond Res 30(8): 2324–2329, 2016—The purpose of the study was to investigate the acute effects of 2 stretching interventions, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) and passive static stretching (PSS), and a specific warm-up (SW) on the strength and architecture of the vastus laterallis and biceps femoris muscles in a subsequent performance on a strength training session (STS). Musculoskeletal ultrasound images were acquired from 9 men before and immediately after stretchings or a SW, and 10 minutes after a STS. The STS consisted of the following exercises: leg extension, leg curl, leg press, and hack machine squat. The PNF resulted in lower performance for all situations. The PSS and SW improved performance for the leg press compared with the PNF and controls (CSs). For the hack machine squat, SWs resulted in higher performance than stretching conditions. The vastus lateralis muscle fascicle length (FL) increases after a STS for PNF. The biceps femoris muscle showed a higher pennation angle 10 minutes after the STS for PSS; the FL increases immediately after PSS and then decreases 10 minutes after the STS for PSS. As per our results, the SWs should be performed before STSs, whereas PNF stretching should not be prescribed because this condition impairs subsequent performance. These results may assist health professionals in prescribing resistance training.

1Postgraduate Physical Education Program, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and

2Biomedical Engineering Program, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Address correspondence to Marcos A. Sá,

Copyright © 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.