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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 134-139

Comparison of dynamic and static stretching on dynamic balance performance in recreational football players


1 Centre for Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Physiotherapy, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication9-Oct-2014

Correspondence Address:
Zafar Azeem
Centre for Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi - 110 025
India
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DOI: 10.4103/1319-6308.142370

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  Abstract 

Background: Football is the world's most popular sport with new players added every year. Recreational football is considered to as health promotion activity for untrained subjects. With the requirement of maintaining balance over one leg at different stages of the game, football players are expected to have superior unipedal stability. Stretching, either static or dynamic, has proven to be of utmost significance as a warm strategy. However, experiemental trials on evaluation of acute effects on dynamic balance are seen limited in scope and implementation. Thus, the purpose of this study was to compare the effects of dynamic and static stretching on dynamic balance performance in recreational football players. Materials and Methods: Thiry male recreational football players participated in the study. Subjects who participated in a minimum of one football session per week for the preceding two months were included in the study on the condition that they should not participate in a structured training or exercise session from last 2 months. Subjects were divided intotwo groups. Group A(n=15) were given dynamic stretching of ankle plantaflexors, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip adductors, hip flexors and hip extensors.Group B(n=15) were given static stretching of same muscle groups. Star excursion balance test was used as main outcome measure. Results: Paired t-tests were used for pre and post score measures for within group comparisons. Independent t-tests was used for comparison of pre and post test score difference for between group comparisons. Significant difference was found between pre and post normalized combined composite scores of SEBT within group A (P<0.001) and Group B(P<0.001). There was non significant difference between the combined normalized composite scores for between group comparisons (P=0.901). Conclusion: Both dynamic stretching and static stretching are equally effective in improving dynamic balance performance in recreational football players. However, the nature of dynamic stretching being more functional , it may prove to have better compliance and acceptability by the coaches and players and may also be used as a preventive strategy for injury management.

  Abstract in Arabic 

هدف هذه الدراسة كان مقارنة نتائج التمديد الساكن والديناميكي على أداء التوازن الديناميكي عند الذين يمارسون رياضة كرة القدم للترقية. اشترك ثلاثون لاعب كرة قدم للترفيه من الذكور في هذه الدراسة. كان المشاركون يمارسون رياضةكرة القدم مرة واحدة أسبوعياً لأخر شهرين قبل الدراسة مع شرط عدم انخراطهم في جلسات تدريب منظمة خلال أخر شهرين. قسم المشاركون إلى مجموعتين : مجموعة أ ( العدد = 15 لاعباً ) تم إعطاؤهم تمارين تمديد ساكنة لثانيات الكاحل والعضلات المأبضية ومرتبة الرؤوس ومقربات وثانيات وباسطات الورك. المجموعة ب ( العدد = 15 لاعباً) أجريت تمرين تمديد لنفس مجموعة العضلات .
استخدمت اختبار نجمة رحلة التوازن (SEBT) كؤشرا رئيشيا لتسجيل النتائج وتم استخدام اختبار ـ تي ـ بالمزاوجة (paired t-test) للنتائج قبل وبعد للمقارنة في كلا المجموعتين كما تم استخدام تجربة ـ تي ـ مستقلة (Independent t-test) لمقارنة فرق نتائج قبل وبعد التجربة.
أتضح أن هناك فروقات هامة بين نتائج التركيب المجتمع للتجارب قبل وبعد في المجموعة أ ( P< 0.001) والمجموعة ب (P< 0.001) ولم يكن هنالك فروق هامة بين النتائج التطبيعية لتجارب التركيب المجتمع. في الخلاصة وجدنا أن كلا من التمديد الساكن والديناميكي ذا فاعلية في تحسين أداء التوازن الديناميكي في الذين يمارسون رياضة كرة القدم للترقية.

Keywords: Dynamic balance, dynamic stretching, star excursion balance test, static stretching


How to cite this article:
Azeem Z, Sharma R. Comparison of dynamic and static stretching on dynamic balance performance in recreational football players . Saudi J Sports Med 2014;14:134-9

How to cite this URL:
Azeem Z, Sharma R. Comparison of dynamic and static stretching on dynamic balance performance in recreational football players . Saudi J Sports Med [serial online] 2014 [cited 2021 Jun 25];14:134-9. Available from: https://www.sjosm.org/text.asp?2014/14/2/134/142370


  Introduction Top


Football is the world's biggest team sport and attracts new players every year. Already there are more than 265 million players, and the number of participants is continuing to grow. The number of unregistered football players has reached to 226 million. [1]

These figures clearly indicate that the number of occasional and recreational football players is quite high. Moreover, recreational football is considered to be as an effective health promoting activity for untrained men (Krustrup et al., 2009). [2]

Football players frequently support their body mass on one leg when kicking a ball and may expect to have better unipedal stability than athletes in other sports such as basketball (Bressel et al., 2007). [3] Compared to basketball players and active control subjects, football player had superior static unipedal and dynamic balance ability (Bressel et al., 2007). [3]

Balance is believed to be important for athletes. A fall may occur if the ability to maintain balance is not successful, and inefficient balance strategies may also result in poor athletic performance (Costa et al., 2009). [4] Thus, decreased balance performance has also been associated with higher injury risk (Trojian and Mckeag, 2006, Hrysomallis, 2007). [5],[6]

Stretching is possibly the most commonly practiced routine used by sports trainers and sports medicine professionals for injury prevention and sports performance enhancement. Stretching has been recommended by experts as a part of pre exercise warm-up. Static stretching has been demonstrated as an effective mean to increase range of moton about the joint (Bandy 1997, Power , 2004). [7],[8] Static stretching has also shown effects of improving dynamic balance in recreational women (Costa et al., 2009) [4] and active middle aged men (Handrakis et al., 2010). [9]

Detrimental effects of static stretching on sport performance have also been advocated in various studies such as decreased height performance, decrease in 1 RM of hamstring muscle (Winchester et al., 2009), [10] decrease in sprint performance (Nelson et al., 2005), [11] reduced strength of planter flexors (Fowles, 2000) [12] . The observed decrease in muscle force output could be a result of decreased motor neuron excitability resulting in decreased motor unit activation or as a result of attenuation of the force generating capacity (Winchester , 2009, Fowles 2000). [10],[12]

Dynamic stretching involves controlled movement through the active range of motion for a joint (Fletcher and Jones, 2004), [13] has shown results such as facilitation of power (Manoel, et al., 2008), [14] sprint (Fletcher and Jones 2004). [13] In the context of dynamic stretching, the literature tends to indicate that shorter duration of dynamic stretching do not adversely affect performance whereas longer duration of dynamic stretching may facilitate performance (Pearce et al., 2009, Behm and Chaouachi, 2011). [15],[16]

Mechanism by which dynamic stretch improves muscular performance have been suggested to be elevated muscle and body temperature (Fletcher and Jones, 2004), [13] post-activation potentiation (PAP) in the stretched muscle caused by voluntary contractions of the antagonist (Hough et al., 2009), [17] stimulation of the nervous system or reduced inhibition of the antagonist muscles (Jaggers et al., 2008). [18]

There are some more methods available to assess the dynamic balance like star excursion balance test (SEBT), which is an easy and feasible test. The SEBT has been reported to assess dynamic balance and challenge athlete's sufficiently (Hertel et al., 2000, Kinzey and Armstrong, 1998). [19],[20] The SEBT offers a simple, low-cost alternative to more sophisticated laboratory assessments for use in clinical settings. The SEBT is a closed-kinetic chain exercise which mimics the single-leg squat exercise and therefore the stance leg requires strength, proprioception, neuromuscular control and adequate range of motion at the hip, knee, and ankle joints (Olmsted et al., 2002). [21]

High inter-tester reliability of the SEBT has previously been reported (Hertel et al., 2000). [19] Previous studies have also shown high intra-tester reliability of SEBT in assessing dynamic balance (Hertel et al., 2000, Kinzey and Armstrong, 1998). [19],[20] Between session reliability of the SEBT with normalized scores has been evaluated by two studies to the best of our knowledge (Munro and Herrington, 2010, Plisky et al., 2006). [22],[23] Both of these studies found SEBT to be reliable measures of predicting lower extremity injury in high school basketball players (Plisky et al., 2006), [23] and reliable measure of lower limb function in healthy recreational athletes (Munro and Herrington, 2010). [22] However, SEBT has still been used extensively as an evaluative measure for dynamic balance performance in sports.

In spite of dynamic stretching has shown results such as facilitation of power (Manoel et al., 2008), [14] sprint (Fletcher and Jones, 2004), [13] agility (Little and Williams, 2006), [24] jump performance (Holt and Lambourne, 2008, Hough et al., 2009), [17],[25] and static stretching of 45 s duration has improved dynamic balance (Costa et al., 2009), [4] The effect of dynamic stretching on dynamic balance is still an area, which is untouched and that needs to be studied.

Although the research in the area of injury prevention is rather extensive, the most important data designed to address the effectiveness of dynamic stretching intervention and its acute effect on dynamic balance performance measures are limited in both scope and implementation.

Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the acute effect of dynamic and static stretching on dynamic balance performance in recreational football players.


  Materials and Methods Top


Thirty male recreational football players participated in the study. Recreational football player was defined as the person who has participated in a minimum of one football session/week for the preceding 2 months and to have not participated in structured exercise training during that period. Male recreational football players with age between 17 years and 25 years and body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 kg/m 2 and 24.9 kg/m 2 were included in the study. Subjects with any impairment of the spinal column, or dysfunction of the vestibular system, visual system that can affect the balance were excluded. Subjects with limb length discrepancy, any history of hip, knee, and ankle surgery within last 1 year, subjects with self-reported history of major lower limb injury or disease from last 6 months, subjects involved in programmed training sessions from last 2 months. Subjects involved in any balance training program. Subjects undergoing treatment of inner ear, sinus, upper respiratory tract infection, diabetes mellitus, bronchial asthma, and bronchitis were also excluded. Ethical approval was taken from Institutions Ethics Committee.


  Procedure Top


Dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching was performed for six different muscle groups at the rate of 1 stretch/s for duration of 30 s for each muscle group and 6 s bilaterally. The muscle group stretched was ankle planter flexors, quadriceps, hamstring, hip flexors, adductors, and extensors. The dynamic stretches utilized were heel toe raises, butt kicks, straight leg march, lateral lunge, forward lunge with forearm instep, drop lunge as described by Fredric and Szymanski (2001). [26] Before performing dynamic stretches the subjects performed aerobic warm up of 4 min in terms of jogging at self-selected comfortable pace. The subjects performed SEBT before stretching and after stretching on three non-consecutive separate occasions within 7 days.

Static stretching

Subjects performed static stretching of same muscle groups as used by dynamic stretching group. The duration of static stretching was 15 s per muscle group and the interval between two sets was 15 s. The technique of static stretching is described in the table.

Dynamic balance performance

Dynamic balance was measured using the SEBT, which has been used previously as a reliable method to assess dynamic balance.


  Results Top


A statistical analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences for Microsoft Windows (SPSS statistics17.0 ). Mean and standard deviations of the descriptive characteristics of age, height, weight, BMI, right and left limb lengths for Group A and Group B were analyzed. The dependent variables of dynamic balance performance score of SEBT were the combined normalized composite score and the normalized composite score. The means of all three pre- and post-intervention normalized composite scores were utilized to get the combined normalized composite scores, the normalized composite scores were calculated by adding the mean normalized scores of all eight directions of SEBT for pre- and post-tests.

A significance level of P ≤ 0.05 was used for all comparisons. Independent t-tests were used for between group comparisons.

Independent t-test was performed to compare the mean differences of normalized composite and combined normalized composite scores between the groups. The difference between combined normalized composite scores was not significant between Group A and Group B (P = 0.901). The mean difference of pre- and post-scores were also non-significant for all three sessions (session 1, P = 0.103, session 2, P = 0.227, session 3, P = 0.282) [Table 1].
Table 1: Comparison of normalized composite and combined normalized composite scores between the groups

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  Discussion Top


The purpose of this study was to investigate the acute effects of dynamic and static stretching on dynamic balance performance in recreational football players. The major finding of the study was that static and dynamic stretching both are equally effective as a method of warm up for male recreational football players (P = 0.901). The second finding of the study was that dynamic stretching and static stretching both produced significant change in dynamic balance performance (P < 0.001). However, our hypothesis was that dynamic stretching would be producing greater improvement in dynamic balance performance compared to static stretching, which was not the finding otherwise.

Effect of static stretching on dynamic balance performance

Static stretching of 15 s duration for three repetitions resulted in significant improvement in dynamic balance performance on all three sessions (P < 0.001). The combined normalized composite score of all three sessions were also improved following static stretching (P < 0.001). Costa et al. [4] investigated the acute effect of different durations of static stretching on dynamic balance performance in recreational women. The improvement in dynamic balance performance following static stretch in our study was consistent with the result of Costa et al. [4] The findings of their study was that static stretching of 15 s duration produced significant improvement in dynamic balance performance, whereas there was no significant difference in dynamic balance performance following 45 s duration stretch and in control condition. The interval between each repetition of stretch was 15 s in their study. Our study also utilized three repetitions of 15 s static stretches with an interval of 15 s between stretches. They suggested that a moderate protocol of 15 s may have caused changes in the musculoskeletal system, which were not detrimental in nature.

Another study by Handrakis et al. [9] investigated the effects of an acute static stretching protocol on balance and jump/hop performance in active middle-aged adults. They found that 10 min of acute static stretching enhances dynamic balance and does not affect jump/hop performance in active middle-aged adults. Our finding is also consistent with this study. Handrakis et al. [9] suggested that the increased dynamic balance noted in this study may be a result of enhanced feedback to the central nervous system and more compliant musculotendinous units post-stretching.

Several authors have reported decrement in performance after a session of static stretching (Power et al., 2004, Winchester et al., 2009, Behm, et al., [16] 2004). [8],[10] Our results are not consistent with these studies. In majority of the literature available, the stretch duration utilized was either 30 s or more than 30 s. A study by Fletcher and Jones used 20 s stretch duration; however, this duration also resulted in detrimental effect on sprint performance. [13] Whereas, some researches utilized the stretch duration of 15 s (Costa et al., 2009, Alpkaya and Koceja, 2007). [4],[27] The result was either neutral or improvement of performance. Hence, we would suggest that duration of 15 s may not have produced the negative effect on musculotendinous stiffness. Therefore, the duration might be a reason for inconsistency with these studies.

Previous research by Ghaffarinejad et al. [28] concluded that static stretch improves joint position sense leading to improved proprioception. Improvement in proprioception might be a reason for improved dynamic balance. Repeated and prolonged stretching has shown reduction in reflex muscular activity due to reduced sensitivity of the muscle spindles (Avela et al., 1999). [29] We utilized a moderate static stretching protocol of 15 s duration which may avoid unfavorable reflex activity decrements as suggested by Costa et al. [4] which may also be a reason for improved dynamic balance.

Although measurement of proprioception and reflex activity of muscles was beyond the scope of our study, but we can still infer from the work carried out on proprioception and reflex musculotendinous activity and improvement of balance that these may also be suggestive of improved dynamic balance performance achieved in our results.

Effect of dynamic stretching on dynamic balance

Our study investigated the acute effect of dynamic stretching on dynamic balance performance. Dynamic stretching also produced significant changes in dynamic balance performance on all three sessions (P < 0.001), the combined composite score also showed significant improvement (P < 0.001).

Earlier studies focused on acute effect of dynamic stretching in facilitating performance measures such as power (Manoel et al., 2008), [14] sprint (Fletcher and Jones, 2004), [13] agility (Little and Williams, 2006), [24] jump performance (Holt and Lambourne, 2008, Hough et al., 2009), [17],[25] though the effect of dynamic stretching on dynamic balance is limited to the best of our knowledge.

A number of mechanisms have been proposed as causing improvement in performance such as specific rehearsal of movements prior to movement (Fletcher and Jones, 2004), [13] an increase in muscle and core temperature (Yamaguchi and Ishii, 2005), [30] and increase in neuromuscular activity (Behm and Chaouchi, 2011), [16] possibly linked to PAP (Manoel et al., 2008, Sale, 2004). [14],[31] Post-activation potentiation also known as activity-dependent potentiation is an increase in muscle isometric twitch and low frequency tetanic force following a conditioning activity (Sale, 2004). [31]

Fletcher and Jones, [13] concluded that active dynamic stretches enhances performance due to specific rehearsal of movement patterns, helping proprioception and pre-activation, allowing an optimum switch from the eccentric to concentric muscle contraction required to generate high running speeds. However, Fletcher and Monte Colombo (2010), [32] considered increases in heart rate, improved stimulation of nervous system, and increase in peak torque as the mechanism behind increased performance after dynamic stretching warm up.

On the basis of previous work on dynamic stretching, it could be hypothesized that dynamic stretching might have produced increased heart rate, enhancement of nervous system, increase in peak torque (Fletcher and Monte Colombo, 2010) [32] although our purpose was not to monitor all of these physiological parameters. These mechanisms along with rehearsal of movements leading to increased proprioception could be a reason for improved dynamic balance (Fletcher and Jones, 2004). [13]

Static stretching versus dynamic stretching

There was non-significant difference between static stretching and dynamic stretching on dynamic balance performance in all three sessions. This result suggests that both the stretching techniques are equally effective in improving dynamic balance performance.

On the basis of result obtained in our study, dynamic stretching may be given primary importance during warm up because of its effect on multifactorial performance measures of power (Manoel et al., 2008), [14] sprint (Fletcher and Jones, 2004), [13] agility (Little and Williams, 2006), [24] jump performance (Holt and Lambourne, 2008, Hough et al., 2009), [17],[25] etc., However, static stretching has proved to be an effective tool to increase flexibility (Bandy et al., 1997, Power et al., 2004). [7],[8] Therefore, it may be said that implementation of static stretching protocol may be an effective measure for the athletes with reduced flexibility.

The components used in the dynamic stretching protocol of our study were closely related to functional movements as performed by athletes from different sporting backgrounds. This may be suggestive of the fact that the functional aspect of dynamic stretching may prove to be beneficial for athletes in terms of injury prevention and rehabilitation when used in warm up protocols.


  Conclusion Top


There was non-significant difference in acute effect of dynamic and static stretching on dynamic balance performance in recreational football players. Both static and dynamic stretching are equally effective in improving dynamic balance performance. The mechanism by which static stretching improves the dynamic balance performance may be considered to be improvement in proprioception and avoidance of unfavorable reflex activity decrements following a moderate stretching program of 15 s duration. The reason for improvement in dynamic balance following acute bout of dynamic stretching may be supposed to due to increase in heart rate, increase in core and muscle temperature, enhancement of neural activation, specific rehearsal of movement patterns possibly leading to increased proprioception. Although both static and dynamic stretching are equally effective in improving dynamic balance, but our study may support dynamic stretching over static stretching due to its positive effects on majority of sports performance measures including dynamic balance. However, static stretching may still be useful for the recreational players with reduced flexibility.

 
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