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Research: Static Stretching vs PNF (MET) for the Hamstrings

Submitted by on November 11, 2011 – 8:11 amNo Comment

A study at the Human Movement and Function Laboratory (UK) looked at the effects of a single 30-second static stretch versus a 6-second agonist contraction PNF (Muscle Energy) technique on the hamstrings.Hamstring Stretch PNF MET AIS

While the results showed a significant increase from both types of stretching, they found the PNF/MET stretching provided an better increase in range of motion (ROM).  The static stretch resulted in an average of 7.53 degree increase in ROM, while the single bout of 6-second PNF stretching resulted in an increase of 11.80 degrees.

One thing to note is they did not specify how much effort was used by the participants during the PNF technique.  There is a wide-range of thought on the effort of PNF stretching, from 10% of maximum contraction, up to a full 100% effort.

Take this study into account as you are working with athletes.  I have found similar results in my practice, and utilize PNF/MET stretching often to release muscles before and/or after any hands-on massage techniques.

O’Hora, J, Cartwright, A, Wade, CD, Hough, AD, and Shum, GLK.  Efficacy of static stretching and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretch on hamstrings length after a single session.  J Strength Cond Res 25(6): 1586-1591, 2011


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