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Science of Stretching

In this week’s ‘What does the science say’, we are looking at stretching. Specifically, we will be looking at a 2023 meta-analysis compiling over 77 previous studies into the efficacy of stretching for increasing joint range of motion. The main findings show that consistent stretching over a ≥2 week period can have long lasting benefits to joint ROM. Static stretching and PNF (contract release stretching) have a greater chronic effect than dynamic stretching. There is a strong correlation between stretching intensity and gains versus a weaker correlation between stretching frequency and gains. Finally, females show a greater response to stretching than males. Disclaimer: This specifically refers to joint ROM, there is still some debate around the efficacy of stretching in the context of injury rehab, injury prevention and performance!

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