The Effect of Time on Static Stretch on the Flexibility of the Hamstring Muscles

modified 2018-10-11

The Effect of Time on Static Stretch on the Flexibility of the Hamstring Muscles

In short:

The purpose of this study was to examine the length of time the hamstring muscles should be placed in a sustained stretched position to maximally increase ROM


Given the information that no increase in flexibility of the hamstring muscles occurred by increasing the duration of stretching from 30 to 60 seconds, the use of the longer duration of stretching for an acute effect must be questioned

Questions raised:

- any improvement >60 seconds?
- any improvement stretching twice a day?
- different for other muscles?

Insights, lessons learnt:
Stretching for 30 seconds is probably enough, althougn need more info!


Fifty-seven subjects (40 men, 17 women), ranging in age from 21 to 37 years and with limited hamstring muscle flexibility (ie, 30” loss of knee extension measured with femur held at 90” of hip flexion), were randomly assigned to one of four groups. Three groups stretched 5 days per week for 15, 30, and 60 seconds, respectively. The fourth group, which served as a control group, did not stretch.

no significant difference existed between stretching for 30 seconds and for 1 minute, indicating that 30 seconds of stretching the hamstring muscles was as effective as the longer duration of 1 minute.

Comparing the effects of one session of 15, 45, and 120 seconds of stretching on hip abduction passive range of motion (ROM), Madding et a120 reported that sustaining a stretch for 15 seconds was as effective as sustaining a stretch for 120 seconds. These results reflect only one session of stretching, and the effect of these varying durations of stretch over time are not known.

We examined the time of stretch of up to 1 minute in duration. Future research could evaluate whether durations of 90 to 120 seconds or longer will provide increased muscle flexibility. We believe, however, that compliance may be decreased if durations of stretching are too long, particularly in people with muscle tightness