The purposes of this study were to determine the effects of static and hold-relax stretching on hamstring range of motion and to examine the reliability of the FlexAbility LE1000 compared with the goniometrically measured active knee-extension test. Forty-two participants (18–25 years old) were assigned to either a control, static, or hold-relax training group. Participants were stretched four times a week over a 6-week period, with four 30-s stretches per session using a straight-leg-raise method on the FlexAbility LE1000. It was determined that both static and hold-relax techniques significantly improved hamstring flexibility (ISLR: +33.08° ± 9.08° and +35.17° ± 10.39°, respectively). Participants of both techniques reached a plateau in flexibility improvement between Weeks 4 and 5. Thus, static and hold-relax stretching are equally effective in improving hamstring ROM. The FlexAbility LE1000 and the goniometer were both found to be highly reliable. Therefore, either measurement technique could be used successfully to measure hip-flexion ROM.
Phillip Gribble, who was a graduate student in the Athletic Training Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during the time of this research, is with the Department of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science at Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608. Kevin M. Guskiewicz, William E. Prentice, and Edgar W. Shields are with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8700.