Int J Sports Med 2010; 31(6): 389-396
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1249082
Training & Testing

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Chronic Flexibility Improvement After 12 Week of Stretching Program Utilizing the ACSM Recommendations: Hamstring Flexibility

P. Sainz de Baranda1 , F. Ayala2
  • 1University of Castilla la Mancha, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Toledo, Spain
  • 2Catholic University of San Antonio of Murcia, Department of Health Sciences and Sports, Murcia, Spain
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision February 08, 2010

Publication Date:
22 March 2010 (online)


The ACSM flexibility training recommendations emphasize proper stretching of muscles supporting the major joints, but there is a little evidence to support this recommendation in terms of effectiveness, and which stretching parameters (technique and single stretch duration) are more adequate. A randomized controlled clinical trial design was use to investigate whether the ACSM flexibility training recommendation parameters improve hip flexion range of motion. A total of 173 subjects, 122 men (21.3±2.5 years; 176.33±8.35 cm; 74.42±10.80 kg) and 51 women (20.7±1.6 years; 163.43±6.57 cm; 60.12±7.88 kg), classified as recreationally active young adult university students were randomly assigned to 1 of 7 groups: 1 control group (no stretching) or 1 of 6 stretching groups. All stretching groups performed 12 weeks of flexibility training with a consistent stretch daily dose (180 s) and frequency (3 days per week) parameters and different stretch technique (passive or active) and single stretch duration (15, 30, or 45 s). Hip flexion passive range of motion (PROM) was determined through the bilateral straight-leg raise test before, during (at 4 and 8 weeks), and after the program (12 weeks). All stretching groups performed hip flexion PROM after flexibility training. A significant improvement was identified in mean PROM for each stretching group, but no significant differences were found between stretch technique and single stretch duration (p>0.05). The control group's mean PROM decreased (ΔPROM: −0.08°, 95% confidence interval [CI]=−2.3 to 5.3), whereas all stretching groups increased PROM (ΔPROM: 15.14°, 95% CI=10.19 to 23.56) in hip flexion after 12 weeks of stretching (p<0.05). The present study suggests that the current ACSM flexibility training recommendations are effective for improving hip flexion ROM in recreationally active young adults.


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Francisco Ayala

Catholic University of San

Antonio of Murcia

Department of Health Sciences

and Sports

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