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Keywords:

  • stretching-induced;
  • muscle strain;
  • muscle injury;
  • knee injury;
  • injury risk;
  • isokinetic;
  • muscle strength

Recent evidence has shown acute static stretching may decrease hamstring-to-quadriceps (H:Q) ratios. However, the effects of static stretching on the functional H:Q ratio, which uses eccentric hamstrings muscle actions, have not been investigated. This study examined the acute effects of hamstrings and quadriceps static stretching on leg extensor and flexor concentric peak torque (PT), leg flexor eccentric PT, and the conventional and functional H:Q ratios. Twenty-two women (mean ± SD age=20.6 ± 1.9 years; body mass=64.6 ± 9.1 kg; height=164.5 ± 6.4 cm) performed three maximal voluntary unilateral isokinetic leg extension, flexion, and eccentric hamstring muscle actions at the angular velocities of 60 and 180°/s before and after a bout of hamstrings, quadriceps, and combined hamstrings and quadriceps static stretching, and a control condition. Two-way repeated measures ANOVAs (time × condition) were used to analyze the leg extension, flexion, and eccentric PT as well as the conventional and functional H:Q ratios. Results indicated that when collapsed across velocity, hamstrings-only stretching decreased the conventional ratios (P<0.05). Quadriceps-only and hamstrings and quadriceps stretching decreased the functional ratios (P<0.05). These findings suggested that stretching may adversely affect the conventional and functional H:Q ratios.