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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
Rivista di Medicina, Traumatologia e Psicologia dello Sport
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
ORIGINAL ARTICLES EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 April;56(4):345-51
Effects of seven weeks of static hamstring stretching on flexibility and sprint performance in young soccer players according to their playing position
Alejandro RODRIGUEZ FERNANDEZ 1, Javier SANCHEZ 2, José A. RODRIGUEZ-MARROYO 1, José G. VILLA 1 ✉
1 Department of Physical Education and Sports, University of León, Institute of Biomedicine (IBIOMED), León, Spain; 2 Unit assessment and Planning of Sports Training, Faculty of Education, Pontifical University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of 7 weeks of static hamstring stretching on flexibility and sprint performance in young soccer players.
METHODS: One hundred and three healthy soccer players voluntarily participated in this study. Subjects were assigned to a control group (N.=22, 16.5±0.7 years, 174.0±5.4 cm and 68.0±6.8 kg) and an experimental group (N.=81, 18.9±1.8 years, 176.0±5.8 cm and 68.2±8.4 kg). All subjects performed a sit-and-reach and a 30-m Sprint Test to assess their flexibility performance and sprinting ability, respectively, before and after 7 weeks of static hamstring stretching program. The static stretching program consisted of 4 stretching exercises performed at the end of the training session during 6 days per week. Each stretch was held for 30-s and performed twice with a 15-s rest between.
RESULTS: Flexibility was significantly (P<0.05) improved for the experimental group. This improvement was analyzed in all playing positions studied. There were significant differences (P<0.05) between pre and post 30-m Sprint Test in both groups. All soccer positions significantly (P<0.05) improved their performance in the experimental group. However, in the control group only defenders improved significantly (P<0.05) the sprint time.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of static stretching at the end of the training sessions prevents the negative effect of the load on hamstring flexibility and it can influence improvement in flexibility.