Hamstring flexibility : measurement, stretching and injury susceptibility

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dc.contributor.advisor Kruger, P.E. (Pieter Ernst)
dc.contributor.postgraduate Waterworth, Sally
dc.date.accessioned 2014-06-17T13:09:32Z
dc.date.available 2014-06-17T13:09:32Z
dc.date.created 2014-04-25
dc.date.issued 2014 en_US
dc.description Thesis (DPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2014. en_US
dc.description.abstract ix Flexibility has traditionally been considered an important component of human physical fitness but this conjecture lacks supporting empirical evidence. While there is extensive published research examining the relative importance of flexibility and the impact of various methods of stretching on levels of flexibility, performance and injury risk, the quality of studies has varied considerably, reliability and validity of methodology has not always been proven, and rationale has at times been questionable. Additionally, much literature has focused on static flexibility which is not necessarily related to properties of the musculotendinous unit and thus dynamic flexibility. This thesis was designed to fill gaps in the existing literature by using accepted methods to establish relative and absolute reliability of hamstring flexibility tests, consider the comparability of static and dynamic components of the global concept of flexibility and explore how dynamic flexibility and performance are influenced by fatiguing exercise and subsequent static stretching. The first aim was realised by a repeated measures study designed to establish the intraday and interday, intrarater reliability and measurement error of static and dynamic measures of hamstring flexibility. Significant relative reliability for measures of static and dynamic hamstring flexibility was demonstrated via intraclass correlation coefficient (3,1) but limits of agreement analysis indicated there was a degree of absolute measurement error that must be interpreted in relation to analytical goals. The second aim required evaluation of relationships shared by static and dynamic measures of hamstring flexibility. Significant relationships between the different static flexibility tests were established but the extent of unexplained variance indicated that only measurements from the same tests should be directly compared to each other. Relationships between different measures of dynamic flexibility and static flexibility varied from non-significant to moderately strong, suggesting that measures of static and dynamic flexibility are not identical and results should not be interchanged between the two types of tests. Due to a lack of explanatory empirical evidence, the final chapter aimed via a prospective randomised repeated measures study to investigate the impact of fatigue and post-exercise static stretching on measures of dynamic flexibility and performance. Fatigue resulted in no significant changes to passive or active dynamic flexibility measures but a significant worsening of static flexibility levels and perceived stiffness. Post-exercise stretch resulted in significantly increased passive and active energy absorption immediately and 18 hours post-exercise and in significantly reduced joint position sense immediately post-exercise. Effect sizes were small so the clinical meaningfulness of performing post-exercise static stretching is questionable, particularly if performed in place of other, potentially more beneficial practices. en_US
dc.description.availability unrestricted en_US
dc.description.department Biokinetics, Sport and Leisure Sciences en_US
dc.description.librarian gm2014 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Waterworth, S 2013, Hamstring flexibility : measurement, stretching and injury susceptibility, Dphil Thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd <http://hdl.handle.net/2263/40275> en_US
dc.identifier.other D14/4/138/gm en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/40275
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Pretoria en_ZA
dc.rights © 2013 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria. en_US
dc.subject Musculotendinous unit en_US
dc.subject Flexibility en_US
dc.subject Stretching en_US
dc.subject Passive stiffness en_US
dc.subject Active stiffness en_US
dc.subject Energy absorption en_US
dc.subject Fatigue en_US
dc.subject Injury risk factors en_US
dc.subject Performance en_US
dc.subject Elite athletes en_US
dc.subject UCTD en_US
dc.title Hamstring flexibility : measurement, stretching and injury susceptibility en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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