Study aim: To assess the effects of static passive maximal stretching on muscle performance in order to clarify the existing controversies.Material and methods: Two randomly selected groups of the Brazilian Air Force personnel were studied: experimental (n = 15), subjected to 3 bouts of static passive stretching exercises of wrist flexors and extensors (beyond a mild discomfort). Every bout lasted 10 s and was followed by a 30-s rest. The control group (n = 15) performed no exercises. Muscle strength was measured with a handgrip dynamometer before and 20 min after the test.Results: Subjects from the experimental group had the pre-exercise handgrip strength significantly higher than postexercise (by about 7%; p<0.01). No significant decrease was noted in the control group.Conclusions: Static passive stretching induces decreases in muscle strength.