Title

Effects of Gastrocnemius, Hamstring, and Combined Stretching Programs on Knee Extensibility

Publication Date

2010

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This study examined the effectiveness of hamstrings-only, gastrocnemius-only, and simultaneous hamstrings-gastrocnemius stretching on knee extensibility. The study also compared active knee extension (AKE) test outcomes for two positions: foot relaxed in plantar flexion (AKE-PF) with ankle fixed in neutral (AKE-N). Forty-seven volunteer participants (94 legs) completed AKE-PF and AKE-N pretests. Forty-five of these participants (89 legs) completed 12 stretching sessions (one 30-second stretch 3 times per week for 4 weeks) and an AKE-PF posttest. Knee ex­tensibility results showed no changes in the control group but similar and significant improvements in all stretching groups, and significant reductions for the AKE-N test compared with the AKE-PF test. Given these findings, clinicians should consider inclusion of gastrocnemius stretching in treatment plans de­signed to improve knee extensibility and monitor foot position during the AKE, perhaps using both plantar and dorsiflexed positions to gather more information regarding the sources of knee inextensibility.

Original Citation

Russell, P. J., Decoster, L. C., & Enea, D. (2010). Effects of Gastrocnemius, Hamstring, and Combined Stretching Programs on Knee Extensibility. Athletic Training & Sports Health Care, 2(2), 67-73.

Identifier

doi: 10.3928/19425864-20100226-06