Comparison of Four Hamstring Stretches

What’s This Research About?

What’s the best hamstring stretch? It’s never that easy!

Even though we believe flexibility is beneficial for athletic performance and for general well-being, there isn’t much research that proves its effectiveness. In addition, knowing which stretching technique is the best to improve flexibility is up for debate.

This study compares four hamstring stretching techniques (two passive stretches and two active stretches).

Listen to our discussion of this on the Yoga and Beyond Podcast:

About The Author


Jenn Pilotti

TITLE: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Hamstring Stretching: A Comparison of Four Techniques


PUBLICATION: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

DATE: 2009

AUTHORS : Jo M. Fasen, Annie M. O’Connor, Susan L. Schwartz, John O. Watson, Chris T. Plastaras, Cynthia W. Garvan, Creso Bulcao, Stephen C. Johnson, and Venu Akuthoa

Active stretching: Increasing range of motion through voluntary contraction.

Neuromobilization: Using active and passive movements to restore and improve mobility in common postures and during extremity movements.

Passive stretching: Increasing range of motion through passive resistance.

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF): Originally a rehabilitation technique developed over 50 years ago, today’s version of PNF usually involves isometrically contracting a muscle, followed by relaxing the muscle, allowing an increase in range of motion. PNF was initially used in diagonal patterns in order to lengthen the muscle group as much as possible and incorporate the stretch reflex.*

*To learn more, “Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation: Patterns and Techniques,” by Dorothy Voss and Margaret Knott explains the original concepts of PNF.

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By |2017-12-11T22:01:11+00:00December 12th, 2017|Musculoskeletal, Stretching|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jenn Pilotti has a BS in exercise physiology from UC Davis. After graduating in 2002, she was hired by the Beach and Tennis Club at Pebble Beach as a full time personal trainer. While there, she had the privilege of working with individuals of all ages, many of whom had aches and pains from a life well led. This piqued her interest in injuries, prevention, and pain. After years of undirected self study (and after leaving the security of a full time position to go out on her own), she enrolled in an online program through AT Still University, eventually acquiring a master's in human movement while working full time. After graduating, she continued to read research and write about its application to her work with clients. She fell in love with yoga in 2004, finally became 200 hour RYT in 2014 after years of workshops and self study (there seems to a theme), and continues to study somatic disciplines. She is DNS exercise trainer certified, FRCms, MovNat level I certified, GMB trainer certified, has taken PRI respiration, myokinematics, impingement and instability, and pelvis restoration, and has read an embarrassing number of books on movement, psychology, and wellness. She has an insatiable curiosity about what makes for a healthy person, physically and mentally, and she finds herself often asking why things work for some and not for others. She strongly believes in the power of knowledge and the power of movement. Learn more about Jenn Pilotti.