Effects of Isolated Long-Term Static Stretching on Strength

by Samantha Narveson and Jessica Kelly
Athletic Training
Faculty advisor: Abby Tibbetts

Muscular strength is directly correlated to the size of the muscle and the velocity of a muscular contraction. Through resistance training, muscle strength is often increased by initiating the inflammatory response by creating hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is the enlargement of a muscle caused by an increase in the size of its cells in response to training. The immune system responds with a sequence of immune reactions leading to inflammation. Satellite cells, along with growth hormones and the immune system, are the most important factors of hypertrophy. The satellite cells, which are located on the outer surface of muscle fiber, are activated at the occurrence of inflammation in a muscle. Satellite cells serve two very important roles; 1) aiding in growth of skeletal muscle, 2) maintain and repair damaged skeletal muscle. Previous research states that passive stretching increases muscle inflammatory cells, causes an increase in sarcomere number, and a greater homogeneity in sarcomere strength during muscle contraction. With that being said, the ability to increase muscle strength by adding a non-taxing element, such as static stretching, could potentially be ideal for post-operative athletes.