Comparison between warm-up and cool-down stretching programs on hamstring extensibility gains in primary schoolchildren
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The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a physical education-based stretching program performed during warm-up and cool-down periods on hamstring extensibility in schoolchildren aged 9- 10 years. A sample of 73 schoolchildren, 36 boys and 37 girls, aged 9-10 years old from three classes were clustered randomly assigned to a no-training group (n = 24), warm-up group (n = 25), or cooldown group (n = 24). During physical education classes, the students of the warm-up and cool-down groups performed a four-minute stretching program twice a week for ten weeks during the warm-up and the cool-down periods, respectively. Hamstring extensibility was estimated by the classic sit-and-reach test at the beginning and at the end of the stretching intervention program. The results of the ANOVA showed that both the warm-up and cool-down students had statistically significant higher values on the hamstring extensibility than the no-training students (p < 0.05). The warm-up and cool-down groups did not show statistically significant differences. Nevertheless, the cool-down students obtained a slightly higher magnitude effect when compared with the warm-up group (g = 0.67 and g = 0.56, respectively). In addition to the slight higher improvement during the cool-down, due to the negative effect of static stretching on performance as previously found in the literature, it seems that physical education teachers should improve students´ flexibility during the cool-down period of the sessions.
- Faculty of Science of Physical Activity and Sport, Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of Granada, Alfacar street, 18011, Granada (Spain).
- Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación, Universidad de Málaga (UMA), Campus de Teatinos, s/n, 29071, Málaga, España
- Department of Physical Education, Elementary Education School of Gibraljaire, Spain
- Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of Granada, Spain
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