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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS

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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2006 December;46(4):617-22

Copyright © 2006 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Acute effects of active warm-up and stretching on the flexibility of elderly women

Zakas A., Doganis G., Zakas N., Vergou A.

Coaching Laboratory, Division of Competitive Sports Department of Physical Education and Sports Science Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece


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Aim. The purpose of the investigation was to examine the acute effects of static stretch on the range of motion (ROM) of the lower extremities and trunk in elderly women, when stretching is performed with and without warming-up exercises.
Methods. Twenty-two sedentary subjects 65-85 years old (mean age: 76.5 years) with normal ROM without joint abnormalities took part in the study, and performed 3 different flexibility protocols in non-consecutive randomized sessions. The first stretching protocol comprised of a general warming-up for 20 min, the second of the same general warming-up followed by static stretching of the lower extremities and the trunk, whereas the third and final stretching protocol consisted of static stretching alone. Passive ROM was examined at the lower extremity joints and trunk flexion, using a goniometer and a flexometer.
Results. Static stretching alone and static stretching after a general warming-up bout, significantly increased the range of all lower extremity joints and trunk flexion (P<0.001). The general warming-up session included a significantly increased ROM only at the ankle dorsiflexion joint (P<0.001).
Conclusions. The results reflect immediate changes in flexibility via acute stretching exercises, in sedentary elderly women, when muscles undergo static elongation, irrespective of the performance of warming-up exercises.

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