Using Daily Stretching to Counteract Performance Decreases as a Result of Reduced Physical Activity—A Controlled Trial

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  • Konstantin Warneke
  • Andreas Konrad
  • Michael Keiner
  • Astrid Zech
  • Masatoshi Nakamura
  • Martin Hillebrecht
  • David G. Behm

There are many reasons for reduced physical activity leading to reduced maximal strength and sport-specific performance, such as jumping performance. These include pandemic lockdowns, serious injury, or prolonged sitting in daily work life. Consequently, such circumstances can contribute to increased morbidity and reduced physical performance. Therefore, a demand for space-saving and home-based training routines to counteract decreases in physical performance is suggested in the literature. This study aimed to investigate the possibility of using daily static stretching using a stretching board to counteract inactivity-related decreases in performance. Thirty-five (35) participants were either allocated to an intervention group (IG), performing a daily ten-minute stretch training combined with reduced physical activity or a reduced physical activity-only group (rPA). The effects on maximal voluntary contraction, range of motion using the knee-to-wall test, countermovement jump height (CMJheight), squat jump height (SJheight), drop jump height (DJheight), contact time (DJct) and the reactive strength index (DJRSI) were evaluated using a pre-test-post-test design. The rPA group reported reduced physical activity because of lockdown. Results showed significant decreases in flexibility and jump performance (d = −0.11–−0.36, p = 0.004–0.046) within the six weeks intervention period with the rPA group. In contrast, the IG showed significant increases in MVC90 (d = 0.3, p < 0.001) and ROM (d = 0.44, p < 0.001) with significant improvements in SJheight (d = 0.14, p = 0.002), while no change was measured for CMJheight and DJ performance. Hence, 10 min of daily stretching seems to be sufficient to counteract inactivity-related performance decreases in young and healthy participants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15571
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number23
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2022

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