Effects of Chronic Static Stretching on Maximal Strength and Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis with Meta-Regression

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenÜbersichtsarbeitenForschung


  • Konstantin Warneke
  • Lars Hubertus Lohmann
  • David G. Behm
  • Klaus Wirth
  • Michael Keiner
  • Stephan Schiemann
  • Jan Wilke

Background: Increases in maximal strength and muscle volume represent central aims of training interventions. Recent research suggested that the chronic application of stretch may be effective in inducing hypertrophy. The present systematic review therefore aimed to syntheisize the evidence on changes of strength and muscle volume following chronic static stretching. Methods: Three data bases were sceened to conduct a systematic review with meta-analysis. Studies using randomized, controlled trials with longitudinal (≥ 2 weeks) design, investigating strength and muscle volume following static stretching in humans, were included. Study quality was rated by two examiners using the PEDro scale. Results: A total of 42 studies with 1318 cumulative participants were identified. Meta-analyses using robust variance estimation showed small stretch-mediated maximal strength increases (d = 0.30 p < 0.001) with stretching duration and intervention time as significant moderators. Including all studies, stretching induced small magnitude, but significant hypertrophy effects (d = 0.20). Longer stretching durations and intervention periods as well as higher training frequencies revealed small (d = 0.26–0.28), but significant effects (p < 0.001–0.005), while lower dosage did not reach the level of significance (p = 0.13–0.39). Conclusions: While of minor effectiveness, chronic static stretching represents a possible alternative to resistance training when aiming to improve strength and increase muscle size. As a dose-response relationship may exist, higher stretch durations and frequencies as well as long program durations should be further elaborated.

ZeitschriftSports Medicine - Open
Anzahl der Seiten21
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 19.04.2024

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