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Comparison of ballistic and static stretching on hamstring muscle length using an equal stretching dose

PainSci » bibliography » Covert et al 2010
updated
Tags: stretch, knee, exercise, self-treatment, treatment, muscle, leg, limbs, pain problems

One article on PainSci cites Covert 2010: Complete Guide to Low Back Pain

PainSci notes on Covert 2010:

This was a comparison of static versus “ballistic” (bouncing) stretching for the hamstrings, showing minor superiority of static stretching. (Not that anyone ever recommends ballistic stretching in the first place.)

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

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.

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