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
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2016) 15, 65 - 74

Research article
Effects of a Stretching Development and Maintenance Program on Hamstring Extensibility in Schoolchildren: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial
Daniel Mayorga-Vega1, , Rafael Merino-Marban2, Jorge Manzano-Lagunas3, Humberto Blanco4, Jesús Viciana1
Author Information
1 Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of Granada, Spain
2 Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación, Universidad de Málaga (UMA), Spain
3 CEIP Virgen de Belén, Junta de Andalucía, Spain
4 Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Chihuahua, Mexico

Daniel Mayorga-Vega
✉ Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of Granada, Alfacar street, no number, 18011, Granada, Spain
Email: dmayorgavega@gmail.com
Publish Date
Received: 20-07-2015
Accepted: 09-12-2015
Published (online): 23-02-2016
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ABSTRACT

The main purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of a physical education-based stretching development and maintenance program on hamstring extensibility in schoolchildren. A sample of 150 schoolchildren aged 7-10 years old from a primary school participated in the present study (140 participants were finally included). The six classes balanced by grade were cluster randomly assigned to the experimental group 1 (n = 51), experimental group 2 (n = 51) or control group (n = 49) (i.e., a cluster randomized controlled trial design was used). During the physical education classes, the students from the experimental groups 1 and 2 performed a four-minute stretching program twice a week for nine weeks (first semester). Then, after a five-week period of detraining coinciding with the Christmas holidays, the students from the experimental groups 1 and 2 completed another stretching program twice a week for eleven weeks (second semester). The students from the experimental group 1 continued performing the stretching program for four minutes while those from the experimental group 2 completed a flexibility maintenance program for only one minute. The results of the two-way analysis of variance showed that the physical education-based stretching development program significantly improved the students’ hamstring extensibility (p < 0.001), as well as that these gains obtained remained after the stretching maintenance program (p < 0.001). Additionally, statistically significant differences between the two experimental groups were not found (p > 0.05). After a short-term stretching development program, a physical education-based stretching maintenance program of only one-minute sessions twice a week is effective in maintaining hamstring extensibility among schoolchildren. This knowledge could help and guide teachers to design programs that allow a feasible and effective development and maintenance of students’ flexibility in the physical education setting.

Key words: Flexibility program, flexibility maintaining, classic sit-and-reach test, physical fitness, primary school children, physical education setting


           Key Points
  • A physical education-based stretching maintenance program of only one-minute sessions twice a week is effective in maintaining hamstring extensibility among schoolchildren.
  • A four-minute maintenance program shows similar effects that the one-minute maintenance program on hamstring extensibility among schoolchildren.
  • Physical education teachers and other practitioners could carry out one-minute programs for a feasible and effective maintenance of students’ flexibility.
 
 
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