The aim of this study was to build on previous conflicting research on performance following stretching and secondary activity post-stretching. Using a randomized, cross-over design, 15 male participants completed a 5-min warm-up jog, followed by a maximal vertical jump (VJ1) and a repetitive five-repetition jump (VJ5) on a force mat, an intervention (static stretching, dynamic range of movement stretching, or no-stretching control), then a second maximal vertical jump and repetitive five-repetition jump, followed by a change of direction test (505 test) and a straight line sprint (20-m). Two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures showed significant time and group × time interaction effects for both mean maximal VJ1 and VJ5 jump heights (P<0.001). Time course changes showed VJ1 jump height following static stretching was significantly reduced (7%) compared with the dynamic and control conditions, which improved by 5.0% and 3.9% (P = 0.02 and P = 0.04) respectively. Following the second bout of movement activity, VJ1 jump height had improved, but was not significantly different from baseline value (P = 0.11). Similarly, VJ5 jump height following static stretching was significantly reduced (6.2%) compared with the dynamic and control conditions, which showed improvements of 6.7% and 7.5% (P = 0.04 and P = 0.01) respectively. After the second bout of movement activity, mean VJ5 jump height for the static stretching group returned to baseline values (P = 0.84), while further improvements were observed in the dynamic (3.2%) and control groups (2.2%) (P = 0.01 and P = 0.04 respectively). Significant improvements in the 505 test were observed in the dynamic and control conditions, in both legs (range 2.45-3.67%; P<0.001), compared with the static stretching condition. Although sprint time improved following the second bout of movement activity, no differences were observed in the 20-m sprint between conditions. The results of this study confirm previous findings that static stretching reduces vertical jump height that is not reversed with follow-up movement activity. Moreover, the results show that activities requiring rapid changes of direction and speed may also be affected if preceded by a bout of static stretching, and is not reversed with follow-up movement activities.
- change of direction
- vertical jump