Stretching is a physical manoeuvre used to increase the range of motion (ROM) about a joint by influencing the extensibility of muscle and connective (tendons, ligaments) tissue. With the magnitude of stretching defined by the intensity of the stretch, this references the size of the mechanical stimulus (load or force) placed on the aforementioned tissue. Within this manuscript, a comparison of low- versus high-intensity passive static stretching was investigated, with the first two studies measuring blood biomarkers for inflammation (hsCRP, IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6). To our knowledge, these studies were the first to investigate the effects of passive static stretching intensity in humans with the use of these blood biomarkers. The third study, which compared low- to high-intensity passive static stretching, observed that low-intensity passive static stretching was more beneficial for decreasing muscle soreness, and increasing muscle function. Since soreness associated with DOMS affects athletic performance, a strategy introduced to diminish the severity of DOMS sooner, not only aids in the restoration of muscle function, but increases the athlete's ability to train and compete at a higher level. In addition, for nonathletes, the early alleviation from symptoms associated with DOMS postexercise increases their adherence to regular exercise.
KeywordsMagnitude of force Stretching intensity Inflammatory response Cytokines hsCRP DOMS Perceived muscle soreness Eccentric peak torque Isometric torque
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