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A reduction in muscular flexibility not only reduces functional level but also causes damage to the musculoskeletal system due to overuse Such damage mainly occurs in multi-joint muscles which have large functional excursion and a high percentage of

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O O CO -i-» u Edited by Roi G.S. Delia Villa S IFA11 VARM-UP PROGRAf, FIFA0 MARI UCCI


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THREE STRETCHING TRAINING METHODS TO INCREASE HAMSTRINGS FLEXIBILITY IN PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYERS D'Onofrio R1, Tamburrino P2, Manzi V3, Bovenzi A3, Mazzoni S3, Tavana R3, Tamburrino G2 ^talian Scientific Society of Sport Rehabilitation and Posturology; 2Libera Associazione Medici del Calcio (LAMICA); 3AC Milan, Milan, Italy Introduction There are many scientific articles in thè international literature on thè effects of static stretching, but only few studies have compared thè different techniques of muscular stretching between them. The aim of this study is to analyse thè differences between three methods of passive and active stretching and which of these has thè most impact on increasing hamstrings flexibility. Methods The study involved 24 professional soccer players (average±SD age: 25.1±2.7; height: 1.90±0.07 m) participating in thè First Division Italian Championship (Serie A). The players performed a Straight Leg Raise Test (SLRT) to assess thè flexibility mainly related to thè hamstrings and to establish thè individuai reference values before training (TI). The training protocol consisted in three sessions per week, for four weeks, of stretching exercises performed by thè players previously divided into three groups: - Group A (n=6) practiced a global postural stretching for thè posterior chain, out of bench-stretch (6 x 20 seconds). - Group B (n=6) practiced muscle stretching on thè Nemes whole body vibrating platform (Nemes, Bosco System) in position Standing Pike Stretch (vibration at 20 Hz applied for 6 x 20 seconds). - Group C (n=6) practised static analytical stretching (Anderson technique) 6 x 20 seconds. AH thè players observed a rest of 10 seconds between stretches and performed thè same technical soccer training. SLRT was repeated after thè training (T2) and 14 days after thè end of thè training (T3). Results Results a •e shown in table 1. Group A Right Group A Left Group B Right Group B Left Group C Right Group C Left TI 74.5111.5*" 73.8110.0'* 80.814.5** 80.914.6** 77.619.7** 77.618.1"* T2 91.319.1*8 93,618.0*§ 91.0+5.6* 92.6+6.6* 86.116.6*s 87.616.9*5 T3 88.8±9.3*§ 91.0i8.2»§ 90.215.4* 91.116.8" 81.4±7.7»§ 83.5+6.6»§ Table 1. Results of thè Straight Leg Raise Test (SLRT) performed to assess thè flexibility in thè three groups of professional players. TI: before training; T2: after four weeks of training; T3: 14 days from thè end of thè trainirig. *P<0.05 TI vs T2; # P<0.05 TI vs T3; §P<0.05 T2 vsT3. Conclusions After training, significant improvements (P<0.05) of thè performance in thè SLRT were observed in thè three studied groups of players. Among thè studied no protocols of stretching, seems to be thè more effective in order to improve hamstring flexibility (P>0.05). After 14 days from thè end of thè trainings we observed a decrease of thè performances in thè SLRT for two groups (Group A and C, P<0.05). Indeed thè Group B (stretching during whole body vibration) showed a smaller but not significant decrease (P>0.05). FOOTBALL MEDICINE STRATEGIES - RETURN TO PLAY 279



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