A randomized trial of preexercise stretching for prevention of lower- limb injury

Rodney Peter Pope, Robert Dale Herbert, John Dennis Kirwan, Bruce James Graham

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231 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: This study investigated the effect of muscle stretching during warm-up on the risk of exercise-related injury. Methods: 1538 male army recruits were randomly allocated to stretch or control groups. During the ensuing 12 wk of training, both groups performed active warm-up exercises before physical training sessions. In addition, the stretch group performed one 20-s static stretch under supervision for each of six major leg muscle groups during every warm-up. The control group did not stretch. Results: 333 lower-limb injuries were recorded during the training period, including 214 soft-tissue injuries. There were 158 injuries in the stretch group and 175 in the control group. There was no significant effect of preexercise stretching on all-injuries risk (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.95, 95% CI 0.77-1.18), soft- tissue injury risk (HR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.63-1.09), or bone injury risk (HR = 1.22, 95% CI 0.86-1.76). Fitness (20-m progressive shuttle run test score), age, and enlistment date all significantly predicted injury risk (P < 0.01 for each), but height, weight, and body mass index did not. Conclusion: A typical muscle stretching protocol performed during preexercise warm-ups does not produce clinically meaningful reductions in risk of exercise-related injury in army recruits. Fitness may be an important, modifiable risk factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-277
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Volume32
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

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Lower Extremity
Wounds and Injuries
Soft Tissue Injuries
Odds Ratio
Muscles
Control Groups
Warm-Up Exercise
Risk Reduction Behavior
Leg
Body Mass Index
Weights and Measures
Bone and Bones

Cite this

Pope, R. P., Herbert, R. D., Kirwan, J. D., & Graham, B. J. (2000). A randomized trial of preexercise stretching for prevention of lower- limb injury. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32(2), 271-277.
Pope, Rodney Peter ; Herbert, Robert Dale ; Kirwan, John Dennis ; Graham, Bruce James. / A randomized trial of preexercise stretching for prevention of lower- limb injury. In: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2000 ; Vol. 32, No. 2. pp. 271-277.
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abstract = "Purpose: This study investigated the effect of muscle stretching during warm-up on the risk of exercise-related injury. Methods: 1538 male army recruits were randomly allocated to stretch or control groups. During the ensuing 12 wk of training, both groups performed active warm-up exercises before physical training sessions. In addition, the stretch group performed one 20-s static stretch under supervision for each of six major leg muscle groups during every warm-up. The control group did not stretch. Results: 333 lower-limb injuries were recorded during the training period, including 214 soft-tissue injuries. There were 158 injuries in the stretch group and 175 in the control group. There was no significant effect of preexercise stretching on all-injuries risk (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.95, 95{\%} CI 0.77-1.18), soft- tissue injury risk (HR = 0.83, 95{\%} CI 0.63-1.09), or bone injury risk (HR = 1.22, 95{\%} CI 0.86-1.76). Fitness (20-m progressive shuttle run test score), age, and enlistment date all significantly predicted injury risk (P < 0.01 for each), but height, weight, and body mass index did not. Conclusion: A typical muscle stretching protocol performed during preexercise warm-ups does not produce clinically meaningful reductions in risk of exercise-related injury in army recruits. Fitness may be an important, modifiable risk factor.",
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Pope, RP, Herbert, RD, Kirwan, JD & Graham, BJ 2000, 'A randomized trial of preexercise stretching for prevention of lower- limb injury' Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 271-277.

A randomized trial of preexercise stretching for prevention of lower- limb injury. / Pope, Rodney Peter; Herbert, Robert Dale; Kirwan, John Dennis; Graham, Bruce James.

In: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2000, p. 271-277.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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