Static Stretching on Muscle Thickness.
Reference to the Study:
Warneke et. al. (2022), Influence of long-lasting Static Stretching on Maximal Strength, Muscle Thickness and Flexibility. FRONT PHYSIOL
Details of the Study:
- Subjects used an orthosis (a brace) to hold the ankle in a dorsi-flexed position for 60 min per day for 6 weeks in total.
- The device stretched the calf muscles to an 8/10 pain rating- as perceived by each individual subject.
- It was found that gastrocnemius muscle thickness increased by around 15% at the end of the 6 weeks, compared with 2% from the control group who did not use the brace.
- These results support the idea that static stretching is an anabolic stimulus.
Applications to training:
- These results help explain why training through a full range of motion (and partials when overloading a muscle in the lengthened range) often produces superior levels of muscle growth.
- Therefore, focussing on overloading the muscle in the lengthened position may be superior for hypertrophy.
- The body of evidence supporting this idea is still small, therefore more research into this would need to be done until this is a genuine, evidence supported application to training.