To examine the acute effects of static stretching on countermovement vertical-jump (CMVJ) ability and monitor the time course of any stretch-induced changes.
Once familiarized, 16 experienced jumpers completed 2 testing sessions in a randomized order. Each session consisted of a general warm-up, a pretreatment CMVJ assessment, a treatment, and multiple posttreatment CMVJ assessments. One treatment included lower-body static stretching, and the second treatment, involving no stretching, was the control. Posttreatment CMVJ measures occurred immediately, 3, 6, 12, and 24 minutes posttreatment. Stretching consisted of 3 static-stretching exercises, with each exercise repeated 3 times and each repetition held for 30 s.
Prestretch CMVJ height equaled 47.1 (± 9.7) cm. CMVJ height immediately poststretch was 45.7 (± 9.2) cm, and it remained depressed during the 24-min follow-up period. Pre-no-stretch CMVJ height was 48.4 (± 9.8) cm, whereas immediately post-no-stretch CMVJ height equaled 46.8 (± 9.5) cm, and as in the stretch treatment, post-no-stretch CMVJ height remained lower than pre-no-stretch values. Although there was a significant main effect of time (P = .005), indicating that CMVJ was lower and remained impaired after both treatments, no significant interaction effect (P = .749) was observed.
In comparison with the no-activity control, static stretching resulted in similar reductions in CMVJ ability when examined over the same time course, so athletes preparing for CMVJ should avoid periods of inactivity, as well as static stretching.
Brandenburg, Pitney, Veera, and Czajka are with the Dept of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, IL 60115. Luebbers is with the Dept of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS 66801.