Honors College Theses

Date

2017

Major

Exercise Science (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Daniel Czech

Abstract

Previous studies in the field of biomechanics have determined that statically stretching muscles before explosive athletic events decreases muscle power production during performance. However, current research does not explain why muscle power production is lessened due to static stretching. Electromechanical delay (EMD) is the delay between muscle stimulation and force, and the purpose of this research is to determine if the decrease in muscle force production is due to a lengthened EMD of the muscle, potentially caused by static stretching. To test this, participants jumped on force plates and jump power produced by the gastrocnemius was calculated, with stretching and without stretching the muscle, while force and EMG of the gastrocnemius were being recorded. It was hypothesized that stretching would create a lengthened EMD of the muscle, and the resulting power from jumping would be less than the power created without stretching, resulting from a lengthened EMD. While the power decreased after static stretching, the EMD of participants who stretched decreased instead of increasing as hypothesized, and the EMD of control participants who did not stretch increased, although there was no change in jumping.

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