Effects of Static Stretching on Repeated Sprint and Change of Direction Performance

J.R.J. Beckett, K.T. Schneiker, Karen Wallman, Brian Dawson, Kym Guelfi

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    Purpose: Toexamine the effects of static stretching during the recovery periods of field-based team sports on subsequent repeated sprint ability(RSA) and change of direction speed (CODS) performance. Methods: On four separate occasions, 12 male team-sport playersperformed a standardized warm-up, followed by a test of either RSA or CODS (on two occasions each) in a counterbalanceddesign. Both tests involved three sets of six maximal sprint repetitions, with a 4-min recovery between sets. During the breakbetween sets, the participants either rested (control [CON]) or completed a static stretching protocol (static stretch [SS]). The RSAtest involved straight-line sprints, whereas the CODS test required a change of direction (100-) every 4 m (total of four). Mean,total (sum of six sprints), first, and best sprint times (MST, TST, FST, and BST, respectively) were recorded for each set. Results:There was a consistent tendency for RSA times to be slower after the static stretching intervention, which was supported bystatistical significance for three performance variables (MST 0–5 m set 2, MST 0–20 m set 2, and TST set 2; P G 0.05). Thistendency was also supported by moderate effect sizes and qualitative indications of ‘‘likely’’ harmful or detrimental effects associatedwith RSA-SS. Further, sprint times again tended to be slower in the CODS-SS trial compared with the CODS-CON across all sprintvariables, with a significantly slower (P G 0.05) BST recorded for set 3 after static stretching. Conclusion: These results suggest thatan acute bout (4 min) of static stretching of the lower limbs during recovery periods between efforts may compromise RSAperformance but has less effect on CODS performance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)444-450
    JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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