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 (2022) 21, 171 - 181   DOI:

Research article
Effects of High-Intensity Stretch with Moderate Pain and Maximal Intensity Stretch without Pain on Flexibility
Genki Hatano1, Shingo Matsuo2, Yuji Asai2, Shigeyuki Suzuki3,4, Masahiro Iwata2, 
Author Information
1 Institute of Sport Science, ASICS Corporation, Kobe, Japan
2 Department of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Nihon Fukushi University, Handa, Japan
3 Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
4 Department of Health and Sports Sciences, School of Health Sciences, Asahi University, Mizuho, Japan

Masahiro Iwata
‚úČ 26-2 Higashihaemi-cho, Handa, Aichi 475-0012, Japan
Publish Date
Received: 20-12-2021
Accepted: 09-03-2022
Published (online): 01-06-2022
Share this article

In this study, we aimed to identify the time course effects of different intensities of static stretch (SST) (maximal intensity without pain vs. high-intensity with moderate pain) on flexibility. This study included 16 healthy students (8 men and 8 women) who performed 1) 5-minute SST at 100%, 2) 110%, and 3) 120% intensity, as well as 4) no stretching (control) in a random sequence on four separate days. Static passive torque (SPT), hamstring electromyography (EMG), and pain intensity were continuously recorded during SST. We assessed markers of stiffness, range of motion (ROM), and maximal dynamic passive torque (DPTmax) before SST and 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 minutes after SST. Stiffness decreased and ROM and DPTmax increased significantly immediately after SST at the three different intensity levels (p < 0.05). The effects of SST at 120% intensity were stronger and lasted longer than the effects of SST at 110% and 100% intensity (stiffness: -17%, -9%, and -7%, respectively; ROM: 14%, 10%, and 6%, respectively; DPTmax: 15%, 15%, and 9%, respectively). SPT decreased after SST at all intensities (p < 0.05). SST at 120% intensity caused a significantly greater reduction in SPT than SST at 100% intensity (p < 0.05). Pain intensity and EMG activity increased immediately after the onset of SST at 120% intensity (p < 0.05), although these responses were attenuated over time. Stretching intensity significantly correlated with the degree of change in ROM and stiffness (p < 0.05). These results support our hypothesis that stretch-induced flexibility is amplified and prolonged with an increase in stretch intensity beyond the pain threshold. Additional studies with more participants and different demographics are necessary to examine the generalizability of these findings.

Key words: Passive torque, stiffness, torque-angle curve, joint range of motion

           Key Points
  • This study evaluated the effect of different intensity levels of static stretching on flexibility.
  • Stiffness decreased, whereas ROM and DPTmax increased dose-dependently with stretching intensity.
  • Stretching intensity beyond the pain threshold resulted in improved flexibility.
Home Issues About Authors
Contact Current Editorial board Authors instructions
Email alerts In Press Mission For Reviewers
Archive Scope
Supplements Statistics
Most Read Articles
  Most Cited Articles
JSSM | Copyright 2001-2022 | All rights reserved. | LEGAL NOTICES | Publisher

It is forbidden the total or partial reproduction of this web site and the published materials, the treatment of its database, any kind of transition and for any means, either electronic, mechanic or other methods, without the previous written permission of the JSSM.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.