Intensity Matters When Stretching
Many active adults include stretching in their warm ups to increase range of motion and decrease the stiffness of muscle tendons. There’s been plenty of debate about the effectiveness of old school against the joint static stretching, but few studies have examined the impact of intensity.
A paper published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research tests intensities of 80%, 100% and 120% of maximum tolerable stretching intensity on 18 male and female volunteers.
On separate occasions, subjects performed right hamstring static stretches at all 3 intensities for 180 seconds. Static passive torque decreased after all intensities, but range of motion was increased and tendon stiffness decreased more effectively using 100% or 120% of maximal intensity without stretching pain.