The effects of short-duration static stretching of the lower extremities after warm-up exercise on endurance running performance

Kazuki Takizawa, Taichi Yamaguchi, Keisuke Shibata


Previous studies have concluded that static stretching impairs running economy and endurance running performance. However these studies examined long durations (90-120 seconds for one muscle) of static stretching. Another study reported that most athletes perform static stretching of each muscle for less than 20 seconds in their warm-up. The purpose of this study was to clarify the influence of 20-second static stretches of the lower extremities after 15 minutes warm-up on endurance running performance. Seven healthy well-trained middle or long distance male runners (age 21.3 ± 2.1 years; height 170.3 ± 3.1 centimeters; weight 60.0 ± 5.5 kilograms) took part in the present study. Each subject ran on a treadmill at 90% VO2max until exhaustion after one of two warm-up procedures. The two warm-up procedures were 15 minutes running at 70% VO2max (Warm-up) and 15 minutes running at 70% VO2max plus five static stretches of the lower extremities (Warm-up + static stretching). The running performance was evaluated by time to exhaustion. In the results, there were no significant differences in time to exhaustion among the warm-up exercises (Warm-up: 819.3 ± 230.6 sec., Warm-up + static stretching 817.9 ± 213.7 sec.). These results suggested that endurance running performance was not affected by the presence or absence of 20-second static stretches and there may be no need to avoid static stretches before endurance running if the duration is not too long.


Running economy, time to exhaustion, VO2, muscle temperature

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