2016, Volume 12, Issue 1

The role of static stretching on performance variables and induced effects of exhaustion exercises in Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes

Eurico Cesar1, Thamara Silva1, Cleito Resende1, Yara Rezende1

1Physical Education, Presidente Antonio Carlos University, Brazil

Author for correspondence: Eurico Cesar; Physical Education, Presidente Antonio Carlos University, Brazil; email: euricopcesar@gmail.com

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Background and Study Aim: Static stretching (SS) is often used before physical exercises and sports in order to improve performance and prevent injuries and delayed-onset muscle soreness, although there is no consensus in the scientific literature about these effects. In addition, a growing body of evidence has shown an acute stretch-induced strength loss in some muscles and sports but not in others. The effects of SS on handgrip strength in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) athletes remain unknown. The aim of this study was the effect of SS on dynamic and isometric strength performance, on the range of motion (ROM) and on the recovery time of these indicators in BJJ athletes.

Material and Methods: Fifteen male BJJ athletes were randomly allocated to an SS group (n = 8) or a control group (CG, n = 7). The ROM, passive torque (PT), handgrip strength (HG) and isometric (ISO) and dynamic strength (DYN) were tested before, immediately after, 24 h after and 48 h after in both groups.

Results: There was a significant interaction between group and time for ROM, which showed an improvement immediately after SS. There was also a decrease in the CG after 48 h compared to the before measure. There was also an SS-induced strength loss in HG immediately after, 24 h after and 48 h after SS compared to before stretching. The CG showed a significant improvement in HG after 48 h compared to immediately after. None of the other variables tested showed a significant difference.

Conclusions: Stretching exercises of the wrist flexor and finger muscles should be avoided previous to practicing fighting sports for which grip strength is necessary.

Key words: muscle stretching exercises, martial arts, muscle strength, hand strength, recovery of function