Advertisement

European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 118, Issue 5, pp 927–936 | Cite as

Acute effects of unilateral static stretching on handgrip strength of the stretched and non-stretched limb

  • Jacob D. Jelmini
  • Andrew Cornwell
  • Nazareth Khodiguian
  • Jennifer Thayer
  • And John Araujo
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

To determine the effects of an acute bout of unilateral static stretching on handgrip strength of both the stretched and non-stretched limb. It was reasoned that if the non-stretched limb experienced a decrease in force output, further evidence for a neural mechanism to explain a post-stretch force reduction would be obtained as no mechanical adaptation would have occurred.

Methods

Thirty participants performed maximum voluntary unilateral handgrip contractions of both limbs before and after stretching the finger flexors of the strength-dominant side only. Each trial was assessed for peak force, muscle activity (iEMG), and rate of force generation.

Results

Following the stretching bout, peak force and iEMG decreased by 4.4% (p = 0.001) and 6.4% (p = 0.000) respectively in the stretched limb only. However, rate of force generation was significantly impaired in both the stretched (− 17.3%; p = 0.000) and non-stretched limbs (− 10.8%; p = 0.003) 1 min post-stretch, and remained similarly depressed for both limbs 15 min later.

Conclusion

Acute stretching negatively impacts rate of force generation more than peak force. Moreover, a reduced rate of force generation from the non-stretched limb indicates the presence of a cross-over inhibitory effect through the nervous system, which provides additional evidence for a neural mechanism.

Keywords

Static stretching Neural inhibition Force impairment 

Abbreviations

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

APAS

Ariel Performance Analysis System

EMG

Electromyography

iEMG

Integrated electromyography

GTO

Golgi tendon organ

MTU

Musculotendinous unit

MU

Motor unit

MVC

Maximal voluntary contraction

RFG

Rate of force generation

Notes

Author contributions

Jacob D. Jelmini, M.S., C.S.C.S: Conception or design of the work, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, drafting the article, final approval of the version to be published. Andrew Cornwell, PH.D: Conception or design of the work, data analysis and interpretation, drafting the article, final approval of the version to be published. Nazareth Khodiguian, PH.D: Data analysis and interpretation, critical revision of the article. Jennifer Thayer, M.S, R.D, C.S.S.D: Data analysis and interpretation. John Araujo, B.S: Data collection.

References

  1. Adrian ED, Bronk DW (1929) The discharge of impulses in motor nerve fibres. Part II. The frequency of discharge in reflex and voluntary contractions. J Physiol 67(2):119–151.  https://doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.1929.sp002557 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Avela J, Kyröläinen H, Komi PV (1999) Altered reflex sensitivity after repeated and prolonged passive muscle stretching. J Appl Physiol 86(4):1283–1291. http://jap.physiology.org
  3. Bazett-Jones DM, Winchester JB, McBride JM (2005) Effect of potentiation and stretching on maximal force, rate of force development, and range of motion. J Strength Cond Res 19(2):421–426.  https://doi.org/10.1519/14193.1 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Behm DG, Peach A, Maddigan M, Aboodarda SJ, DiSanto MC, Button DC, Maffiuletti NA (2013) Massage and stretching reduce spinal reflex excitability without affecting twitch contractile properties. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 23(5):1215–1221.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jelekin.2013.05.002 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Behm DG, Blazevich AJ, Kay AD, McHugh M (2016) Acute effects of muscle stretching on physical performance, range of motion, and injury incidence in healthy active individuals: a systematic review. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 41:1–11.  https://doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2015-0235 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Burgess KE, Graham-Smith P, Pearson SJ (2009) Effect of acute tensile loading on gender-specific tendon structural and mechanical properties. J Orthop Res 27(4):510–516.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jor.20768 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Chaouachi A, Padulo J, Kasmi S, Othmen AB, Chatra M, Behm DG (2017) Unilateral static and dynamic hamstrings stretching increases contralateral hip flexion range of motion. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging 37(1):23–29.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cpf.12263 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Cornwell A, Nelson AG, Sidaway B (2002) Acute effects of stretching on the neuromechanical properties of the triceps surae muscle complex. Eur J Appl Physiol 86(5):428–434.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-001-0565-1 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Cramer JT, Housh TJ, Johnson GO, Miller JM, Coburn JW, Beck TW (2004) Acute effects of static stretching on peak torque in women. J Strength Cond Res 18(2):236–241.  https://doi.org/10.1519/R-13303.1 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cramer JT, Housh TJ, Weir JP, Johnson GO, Coburn JW, Beck TW (2005) The acute effects of static stretching on peak torque, mean power output, electromyography, and mechanomyography. Euro J Appl Physiol 93(5–6):530–539.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-004-1199-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. da Silva JJ, Behm DG, Gomes WA, de Oliveira Silva FH, Soares EG, Serpa EP et al. (2015) Unilateral plantar flexors static-stretching effects on ipsilateral and contralateral jump measures. J Sports Sci Med 14:315–321. http://jssm.org
  12. Evetovich TK, Nauman NJ, Conley DS, Todd JB (2003) Effect of static stretching of the biceps brachii on torque, electromyography, and mechanomyography during concentric isokinetic muscle actions. J Strength Cond Res 17(3):484–488. http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Pages/default.aspx
  13. Farina D, Arendt-Nielsen L, Merletii R, Graven-Nielson T (2004) Effect of experimental muscle pain on motor unit firing rate and conduction velocity. J Neurphysiol 91:1250–1259.  https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00620.2003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Farina D, Arednt-Nielsen L, Graven-Nielsen T (2005) Experimental muscle pain reduces initial motor unit discharge rates during sustained submaximal contractions. J Appl Physiol 98:999–1005.  https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.01059.2004 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Fowles JR, Sale DG, MacDougall JD (2000). Reduced strength after passive stretch of the human plantarflexors. J Appl Physiol 89(3):1179–1188. http://jap.physiology.org
  16. Gurjão ALD, Gonçalves R, de Moura RF, Gobbi S (2009) Acute effect of static stretching on rate of force development and maximal voluntary contraction in older women. J Strength Cond Res 23(7):2149–2154.  https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b8682d CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Halperin I, Chapman DW, Behm DG (2015) Non-local muscle fatigue: effects and possible mechanisms. Eur J Appl Physiol 115(10):2031–2048.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-015-3249-y CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Houk JC, Singer JJ, Goldman MR (1971) Adequate stimulus for tendon organs to forces applied to muscle tendon. J Neurophysiol 30:466–481. https://jn.physiology.org
  19. Kato E, Kanehisa H, Fukunaga T, Kawakami Y (2010) Changes in ankle joint stiffness due to stretching: the role of tendon elongation of the gastrocnemius muscle. Eur J Sport Sci 10(2):111–119. Retrieved from http://tandfonline.com/loi/tejs20#.V5JQRBS5Ay4
  20. Knudson D, Noffal G (2005) Time course of stretch-induced isometric strength deficits. Eur J Appl Physiol 94:348–351.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-004-1309-9 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Kubo K, Kanehisa H, Kawakami Y, Fukunaga T (2001) Influence of static stretching on viscoeleastic properties of human tendon structures. J Appl Physiol 90(2):520–527. http://jap.physiology.org
  22. Kubo K, Kanehisa H, Fukunaga T (2002) Effects of transient muscle contractions and stretching on the tendon structures in vivo. Physiol Scand 175(2):157–164.  https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-201X.2002.00976.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Maffiuletti NA, Aagaard P, Blazevich AJ, Folland J, Tillin N, Duchateau J (2016) Rate of force development: physiological and methodological considerations. Eur J Appl Physiol 116(6):1091–1116.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-016-3346-6 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. Magnusson SP, Simonsen EB, Aagaard P, Kjaer M (1996) Biomechanical responses to repeated stretches in human hamstring muscle in vivo. Am J Sports Med 24(5):622–628. http://ajs.sagepub.com
  25. Morse CI, Degens H, Seynnes OR, Maganaris CN, Jones DA (2008) The acute effect of stretching on the passive stiffness of the human gastrocnemius muscle tendon unit. J Physiol 586(1):97–106.  https://doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2007.140434 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Opplert J, Genty JB, Babault N (2016) Do stretch durations affect muscle mechanical and neurophysiological properties? Int J Sports Med 37(9):673–679.  https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0042-104934 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Rosenbaum D, Henning EM (1995) The influence of stretching and warm-up exercises on Achilles tendon reflex activity. J Sports Sci 13(6):481–490.  https://doi.org/10.1080/02640419508732265 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Sahaly R, Vandewalle H, Driss T, Monod H (2001) Maximal voluntary force and rate of force development in humans-importance of instruction. Eur J Appl Physiol 85:345–350CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Taylor DC, Dalton JD, Seaber AV, Garrett WE (1990) Viscoelastic properties of muscle-tendon units the biomechanical effects of stretching. Am J Sports Med 18(3):300–309.  https://doi.org/10.1177/036354659001800314 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Trajano GS, Seitz L, Nosaka K, Blazevich AJ (2013) Contribution of central vs. peripheral factors to the force loss induced by passive stretch of the human plantar flexors. J Appl Physiol 115:212–218.  https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00333.2013 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Trajano GS, Seitz LB, Nosaka K, Blazevich AJ (2014) Can passive stretch inhibit motoneuron facilitation in the human plantar flexors? J Appl Physiol 117(12):1486–1492.  https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00809.2014 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Trajano GS, Nosaka K, Blazevich AJ (2017) Neurophysiological mechanisms underpinning stretch-induced force loss. Sports Med 47(8):1531–1541.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-017-0682-6 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Wilson GJ, Murphy AJ, Pryor JF (1994) Musculotendinous stiffness: its relationship to eccentric, isometric, and concentric performance. J Appl Physiol 76(6):2714–2719. http://jap.physiology.org
  34. Ye X, Beck TW, Wages NP (2016) Influence of prolonged static stretching on motor unit firing properties. Mus Ner 53:808–817.  https://doi.org/10.1002/mus.24913 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zipp P (1982) Recommendations for the standardization of lead positions in surface electromyography. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 50(1):41–54.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00952243 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob D. Jelmini
    • 1
  • Andrew Cornwell
    • 1
  • Nazareth Khodiguian
    • 1
  • Jennifer Thayer
    • 1
  • And John Araujo
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Kinesiology and Nutritional ScienceCalifornia State UniversityLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations