Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2015) 14, 315 - 321

Research article
Unilateral Plantar Flexors Static-Stretching Effects on Ipsilateral and Contralateral Jump Measures
Josinaldo Jarbas da Silva1, David George Behm2, , Willy Andrade Gomes1, Fernando Henrique Domingues de Oliveira Silva1, Enrico Gori Soares1, Érica Paes Serpa1, Guanis de Barros Vilela Junior1, Charles Ricardo Lopes1,4, Paulo Henrique Marchetti1,3
Author Information
1 Graduate Program in Science of Human Movement, College of Health Science (FACIS), Methodist University of Piracicaba, Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil
2 School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
3 Institute of Orthopedics and Traumatology, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Laboratory of Kinesiology, São Paulo, Brazil
4 Faculty Adventist of Hortolândia (UNASP), Hortolândia, São Paulo, Brazil

David George Behm
✉ School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 230 Elizabeth Ave. St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, A1C 5S7
Publish Date
Received: 24-11-2014
Accepted: 13-02-2015
Published (online): 01-06-2015
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the acute effects of unilateral ankle plantar flexors static-stretching (SS) on the passive range of movement (ROM) of the stretched limb, surface electromyography (sEMG) and single-leg bounce drop jump (SBDJ) performance measures of the ipsilateral stretched and contralateral non-stretched lower limbs. Seventeen young men (24 ± 5 years) performed SBDJ before and after (stretched limb: immediately post-stretch, 10 and 20 minutes and non-stretched limb: immediately post-stretch) unilateral ankle plantar flexor SS (6 sets of 45s/15s, 70-90% point of discomfort). SBDJ performance measures included jump height, impulse, time to reach peak force, contact time as well as the sEMG integral (IEMG) and pre-activation (IEMGpre-activation) of the gastrocnemius lateralis. Ankle dorsiflexion passive ROM increased in the stretched limb after the SS (pre-test: 21 ± 4° and post-test: 26.5 ± 5°, p < 0.001). Post-stretching decreases were observed with peak force (p = 0.029), IEMG (P<0.001), and IEMGpre-activation (p = 0.015) in the stretched limb; as well as impulse (p = 0.03), and jump height (p = 0.032) in the non-stretched limb. In conclusion, SS effectively increased passive ankle ROM of the stretched limb, and transiently (less than 10 minutes) decreased muscle peak force and pre-activation. The decrease of jump height and impulse for the non-stretched limb suggests a SS-induced central nervous system inhibitory effect.

Key words: Athletic training, exercise performance, exercise training, crossover, cross-education

           Key Points
  • When considering whether or not to SS prior to athletic activities, one must consider the potential positive effects of increased ankle dorsiflexion motion with the potential deleterious effects of power and muscle activity during a simple jumping task or as part of the rehabilitation process.
  • Since decreased jump performance measures can persist for 10 minutes in the stretched leg, the timing of SS prior to performance must be taken into consideration.
  • Athletes, fitness enthusiasts and therapists should also keep in mind that SS one limb has generalized effects upon contralateral limbs as well.
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