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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2012 October;171(5):613-20

Copyright © 2012 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Effects of static stretching on heart rate and fitness classification following the YMCA step test

Jones L. A., Coburn J. W., Brown L. E., Judelson D. A.

Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA, USA


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Aim. To determine the effects of static stretching on heart rate and aerobic fitness classification following the YMCA step test.
Methods. Twenty participants visited the lab on three occasions. The first visit involved familiarization with the static stretching exercises and the YMCA step test. The two other visits involved a control condition (no stretching) and an experimental condition (stretching) prior to performance of the YMCA step test. The experimental condition involved performing four static stretches for the quadriceps femoris muscles prior to performing the step test. Heart rate was recorded each minute during the step test. Recovery heart rate was measured for one minute within five seconds after the last step. The control visit was identical to the experimental visit except that no stretching was performed.
Results. Recovery heart rate was not affected by stretching. There was a significant difference between stretch and no-stretch conditions for exercise heart rate, with the heart rate higher for the stretching condition. In addition, there was a difference in fitness classifications for eight out of twenty participants, with five of the eight having better fitness classifications for the no-stretch condition.
Conclusion. Static stretching prior to the YMCA step test might affect the test results. Furthermore, the direction of the effect may be to increase or decrease fitness categorization.

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