I was reading in Muscle Media about loaded passive stretching. There are so many things out there, and who knows what to believe or not to. Just wondering is this for real? If it is real, what would be the proper method of use? Is it better to do loaded passive stretching between set? Is it true that this method benefits the large muscle groups?
The term loaded passive stretching is another way of saying muscle facial stretching. If you type this into an internet search engine you will also get the name “Russian stretching.” The idea behind this type of stretching is that between sets a person would passively stretch that particular muscle group while the person is bearing a load (1). An example of this type of stretching is holding a barbell while you hold a squat position.
The scientific literature has very little information on this type of stretching, certainly not enough to confidently back up these statements. I was also unable to find any sound human studies done on this type of stretching. There has been research done on the animal model particularly the quail, which has demonstrated muscle hypertrophy with loaded stretching (2).
In a nutshell, there is not a great deal of research using the human model on this type of stretching. More research needs to be done to show a strong relationship between this type of stretching and strength. Most of the information I found on this type of stretching was anecdotal. Look for more information on this and other type of stretching in my up coming papers.
- Muscle Media, January 2003 internet site www.musclemedia.com/articles/v105/issue_105.asp
- Shrier, I. & Gossal, K. (2000) Myths and truths of stretching: individual recommendations for health muscles. The Physician and Sports Medicine (28) online journal pages 1-17.