The Effect of Different Passive Static Stretching Intensities on Perceived Muscle Soreness and Muscle Function Recovery Following Unaccustomed Eccentric Exercise: A Randomised Controlled Trial

  • Nikos C. Apostolopoulos


Stretching prior to an activity is a common practice amongst recreational and elite athletes, with practitioners believing that pre-exercise stretching may reduce the risk of injury, muscle soreness associated with DOMS, improve flexibility and performance. However, studies investigating the effects of pre- and postexercise on DOMS found no preventive effect on muscular soreness, tenderness, and force loss from unaccustomed eccentric exercise. In this study, effect of passive static stretching intensity on recovery from unaccustomed eccentric exercise of right knee extensors was investigated. Thirty recreationally active males were randomised into three groups: low- and high-intensity passive static stretching and control. The stretching groups performed three sets of passive static stretching exercises of 60 s each for hamstrings, hip flexors, and quadriceps, over three consecutive days, post-unaccustomed eccentric exercise. Perceived muscle soreness was collected immediately (time 0) and after 24, 48, and 72 h postexercise with muscle function (eccentric and isometric peak torque) was measured before (baseline) and after (24, 48, and 72 h) unaccustomed eccentric exercise. Low-intensity passive static stretching showed a significant increase in eccentric peak torque and was associated with a beneficial effect for both isometric peak torque and muscle soreness compared to high-intensity passive static stretching and control.


Passive static stretching Stretching intensity DOMS Unaccustomed eccentric exercise Muscle soreness Eccentric peak torque Isometric peak torque Muscle function Recovery 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikos C. Apostolopoulos
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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