Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
Background: The effects of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching on muscle imbalance are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to examine the acute effects of PNF stretching on knee extension and flexion peak torque (PT), as well as the conventional and functional hamstrings to quadriceps (H:Q) ratios. Methods: Fifteen men (age = 22 ± 1 years; body mass = 76 ± 12 kg; height = 176 ± 7 cm) and fifteen women (age = 22 ± 2 years; body mass = 63 ± 8 kg; height = 161 ± 5 cm) performed concentric quadriceps and hamstrings, and eccentric hamstrings muscle actions at different angular velocities (60, 180, and 300 ◦ ·s −1 concentric; 60 and 180 ◦ ·s −1 eccentric) before and after a bout of PNF stretching, and a control condition. Results: Neither PNF or control conditions affected concentric PT or H:Q ratios (p > 0.05), apart from knee extension at 60 ◦ ·s −1 in men (p = 0.001). However, there was a reduction in hamstrings eccentric PT in both control and PNF conditions for men and women (p = 0.003). Conclusions: PNF stretching of the hamstrings may not adversely affect the H:Q ratios, and consequently not negatively affect injury risk associated with muscular strength imbalances.
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