The whereas dynamic stretching did not. The significance of

The aim of the study is to compare how
dynamic stretching and PNF affect hamstring flexibility of male footballers. The
scope of this review will split the research question into two parts. This will
be to analyse the effectiveness of both dynamic stretching and proprioceptive
neuromuscular facilitation. This range will then narrow down and be synthesised
to show the importance of this study.

 

PNF is a stretching technique, which is
utilised to increase range of motion and flexibility (Hindle et al., 2012). In
contrast, dynamic stretching consists of large sport-specific body movements,
preparing the body for exercise by increasing core temperature and flexibility
(Leon, Oh and Rana, 2012). The basic movement patterns in football require
rapid force development and the ability to use the stretch-shortening cycle in
ballistic movements (Garcia-Pinillos et al., 2015). In addition, stretching is
important in football as limited muscle flexibility restricts the range of
motion of that area, which is believed to predispose the muscle to injury and
impair performance. Hamstring injuries are prevalent among athletes who
participate in team sports, but a lack of a standardised measurement of
hamstring flexibility has led to ambiguity in this area (O’Connor et al.,
2015).

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The need for this study is highlighted
by the fact there is little research in comparing PNF against dynamic
stretching for hamstring flexibility in football. O’Sullivan, Murray and
Sainsbury, (2009) conducted a study which examined the effect of warm-up,
static and dynamic stretching on hamstring flexibility. The main findings from
the study showed that warm-up and static both increased hamstring flexibility,
whereas dynamic stretching did not. The significance of this is that the
reliability of the protocol was established, as the inclusion/exclusion
criteria was clinically relevant. However, a criticism of the methodology would
be that the authors of this study fail to mention the age range of the
participants, vaguely specifying the participants were recruited from the
university campus. The main limitation of this article, however, is that it
does not examine the effectiveness of other methods of increasing hamstring flexibility,
such as PNF. A more comprehensive study would be useful in drawing conclusions
of how stretching techniques affect hamstring flexibility.

 

Van Rensburg and Coetzee (2014) carried
out a more recent study, which analysed which stretching technique is most
effective in increasing hamstring flexibility. In comparison with the previous study,
static stretching was again seen to have an increase in hamstring flexibility.
On the other hand, this study shows that PNF and dynamic stretching also
increase hamstring flexibility in female adolescents. One drawback of this
study is that it was conducted over a period of 6 weeks, meaning the
participants may have increased tolerance to the stretch, rather than improved
flexibility. Furthermore, the study only focuses on female participants,
meaning the results may be individual to this population.

 

In summary, inconsistencies between
previous studies signify why there is a research gap for this study. These
studies are far from convincing in proving how stretching influences hamstring
flexibility and there is a much larger focus on the female population.
Similarly, there is a larger research field on static stretching, in comparison
to PNF and dynamic stretching. This implies that research in comparing PNF and
dynamic stretching of male football players is beneficial and necessary.