Effect of static vs. PNF stretching on hamstring flexibility
The hamstring muscle group is one of the most commonly talked about structures when it comes to injuries and rehabilitation.
It is believed that a reduction in hamstring flexibility leads to decreased range of motion (ROM) of the knee and hip joint, which subsequently leads to a chain reaction up and down the body.
The most common tool used to improve hamstring flexibility is stretching. There are many types of stretching which include: static and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) type stretching.
This study investigated the effectiveness of static vs. PNF stretching in improving hamstring flexibility.
Static stretching was defined as sustaining a lengthened position of the soft tissues to a point of mild discomfort for a predetermined period of time. PNF included various types of isometric contractions that were used in addition to the static stretching.
The outcome measures used to assess the hamstring flexibility before and after the intervention were Passive Straight Leg Raise (PSLR) and Active Knee Extension Test (AKET).
The pool of evidence from its origin to 2016 showed that both types of stretching increased the flexibility of the hamstrings measured by the PSLR and AKET.
However, there were no significant differences between the 2 types of stretching.
> From: Borges et al., Eur J Physiother 20 (2018) 12-19. All rights reserved to Informa UK Ltd. Click here for the online summary.