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"Sport Medicine Journal" No.36 - 2013
ARTICLE – abstract

Comparison of the effects of retro walking and stretching on balance and flexibility

Dinesh Chand , Shibili Nuhmani , Shaji John Kachanathu
1Department of Rehabilitation Sciences Hamdard University, New Delhi, India
2Department of Rehabilitation Sciences Hamdard University, New Delhi, India
3Associate professor, College of Applied Medical Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA


Introduction. There is no study done to compare the effects of passive static stretching and retro walking on hamstring length and on balance. Objective of this study was to study the efficacy of retro walking vs. passive static stretching on hamstring tightness and balance in young collegiate students.
Material and Method. 30 collegiate students, male and female, were the subjects of this research. 15 subjects received retro-walking (Group 1), 15 received passive static stretching (Group 2) during for 6 weeks, with frequency of 3 days per week. Length of the hamstring muscle, static balance and dynamic balance were the outcome measures of the study. Hamstring length were measured by measuring active knee extension. Static balance was measured by standing stork test while dynamic balance was measured by Star Excursion balance test.
Results. All the two groups i.e. retro-walking and passive static stretching has yielded significant improvements on the length of hamstring muscle (p=0.000) the outcome after training for 6 weeks. Retro-walking also significantly increased balance performance both static and dynamic (p=0.000) but passive static stretching showed no significant improvement on static balance, however, 4 out of 8 directions of SEBT (for dynamic balance assessment) showed significant improvement. Conclusions. Retro-walking and passive static stretching both increased hamstring length significantly among young collegiate students otherwise asymptomatic individuals. Retro-walking significantly increased both static and dynamic balance. There was no significant effect of passive static stretching on static balance improvement and also on dynamic balance in four out of eight directions studied by SEBT test.
Key words:

passive static stretching, muscle tightness, balance

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