The Cross-Over Benefits of Static Stretching $0.00

The Cross-Over Benefits of Static Stretching

By: Phil Page, PhD, PT, ATC, CSCS, FACSM | May 13, 2019
The Cross-Over Benefits of Static Stretching


You may have heard that stretching can actually do more harm than good. Well, that depends on several things…the type of stretching and the type of activity being measured, among others. For example, ‘static stretching,’ has been shown to increase flexibility, but decrease muscle performance in the immediate time after stretching, particularly in sprinting and jumping movements. In essence, stretching has gotten a bad reputation (probably because people don’t like to stretch!)

Researchers from Memorial University in Newfoundland Canada wanted to determine if these muscle performance impairments occur on both the stretched and non-stretched sides of the body. They published their findings in the Journal of Performance Health Research.

Dr. David Behm and colleagues had 14 healthy male subjects perform 8 sets each of quadriceps and hamstring static stretches for 30 seconds using a TheraBand® Stretch Strap. The researchers measured hip and knee flexibility, as well as quadriceps force production (strength) and muscle activation before and after stretching. They compared the results in the same individuals to a control period of no stretching.

The researchers found small to moderate improvements (6.7 and 4.3% increase in range of motion) in both the stretched and non-stretched legs, respectively. Muscle performance (strength and activation) were not affected.

Static stretching with a TheraBand Stretch Strap can acutely increase quadriceps and hamstring muscle flexibility in both the stretched and non-stretched sides without affecting muscle activation. According to the authors, “Individuals who are injured or are undergoing rehabilitation should continue to stretch the noninjured limb to maintain or improve flexibility of the injured limb.”

Behm et al. Acute Effects of Unilateral Self-Administered Static Stretching on Contralateral Limb Performance. J Perform Health Res. 2019. 3(1):1-7.