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Bispebjerg Hospital - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Altered Triceps Surae Muscle-Tendon Unit Properties after 6 Months of Static Stretching

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  4. Altered Triceps Surae Muscle–Tendon Unit Properties after Six Months of Static Stretching

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INTRODUCTION: This study examined the effects of 24 wk of daily static stretching of the plantarflexors (unilateral 4 × 60-s stretching, whereas the contralateral leg served as a control; n = 26) on joint range of motion (ROM), muscle-tendon unit morphological and mechanical properties, neural activation, and contractile function.

METHODS: Torque-angle/velocity was obtained in passive and active conditions using isokinetic dynamometry, whereas muscle-tendon morphology and mechanical properties were examined using ultrasonography.

RESULTS: After the intervention, ROM increased (stretching, +11° ± 7°; control, 4° ± 8°), and passive torque (stretching, -10 ± 11 N·m; control, -7 ± 10 N·m) and normalized EMG amplitude (stretching, -3% ± 6%; control, -3% ± 4%) at a standardized dorsiflexion angle decreased. Increases were seen in passive tendon elongation at a standardized force (stretching, +1.3 ± 1.6 mm; control, +1.4 ± 2.1 mm) and in maximal passive muscle and tendon elongation. Angle of peak torque shifted toward dorsiflexion. No changes were seen in tendon stiffness, resting tendon length, or gastrocnemius medialis fascicle length. Conformable changes in ROM, passive dorsiflexion variables, tendon elongation, and angle of peak torque were observed in the nonstretched leg.

CONCLUSIONS: The present findings indicate that habitual stretching increases ROM and decreases passive torque, altering muscle-tendon behavior with the potential to modify contractile function.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Volume53
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1975-1986
Number of pages12
ISSN0195-9131
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 by the American College of Sports Medicine.

    Research areas

  • Electromyography, Female, Humans, Male, Muscle Contraction/physiology, Muscle Stretching Exercises/physiology, Muscle, Skeletal/diagnostic imaging, Range of Motion, Articular/physiology, Ultrasonography, Young Adult

ID: 70126559