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The effects of static stretching and warm-up on prevention of delayed-onset muscle soreness.

High DM, Howley ET, Franks BD.

University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Res Q Exerc Sport. 1989 Dec;60(4):357-61.


It has been suggested in the lay literature that static stretching and/or warm-up will prevent the occurrence of Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). The primary purpose of this study was to determine the effects of static stretching and/or warm-up on the level of pain associated with DOMS. Sixty-two healthy male and female volunteers were randomly assigned to four groups: (a) subjects who statically stretched the quadriceps muscle group before a step, (b) subjects who only performed a stepping warm-up, (c) subjects who both stretched and performed a stepping warm-up prior to a step test, and (d) subjects who only performed a step test. The step test (Asmussen, 1956) required subjects to do concentric work with their right leg and eccentric work with their left leg to voluntary exhaustion. Subjects rated their muscle soreness on a ratio scale from zero to six at 24-hour intervals for 5 days following the step test. A 4x2x2 ANOVA with repeated measures on legs and Duncan's New Multiple Range post-hoc test found no difference in peak muscle soreness among the groups doing the step test or for gender (p greater than .05). There was the expected significant difference in peak muscle soreness between eccentrically and concentrically worked legs, with the eccentrically worked leg experiencing greater muscle soreness. We concluded that static stretching and/or warm-up does not prevent DOMS resulting from exhaustive exercise.

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