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Is Inter-set stretching beneficial for Hypertrophy?

Reference to Study: Van Every et. al. (2022). Loaded inter-set stretch may selective enhance muscular adaptations of the Plantar Flexors. PLOS ONE.


Details of the study:


  • Trainees performed 4 sets of straight-leg calf raises on the leg press machine, and 4 sets of seated calf raises, 2x per week for 8 weeks


  • One leg was trained using a traditional 2 min passive rest between sets (traditional)


  • The other leg was trained by implementing a 20 second loaded stretch immediately after each set, before resting for another passive 100 seconds (inter-set stretching)


  • Inter-set stretching was performed using the load of the machine during the stretch.


  • It was found that both legs saw similar growth for all calf muscles.


  • However, there was a trend that the leg implementing loaded stretching saw slightly superior growth of all muscles- but only reached statistical significance for the soleus.



Real world Application:

  • Due to the mainly insignificant findings, there isn’t really anything that should be implemented into real world training. However due point 6 above, it is likely further research may later support the use of inter-set stretching. Therefore, if someone wanted to start implementing it now, it may be beneficial.

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