Concepcion G. Adlawan,
Katrina C. Bantilan,
Abbe Kane R. Carungay,
Maria Alma J. Suico
The purpose of this study was to determine the acute effects of thermal agents such as cold or heat as an adjunct to dynamic stretching on hamstring flexibility agility and speed. This study was conducted in Cebu Doctors' University (CDU). The subjects included 36 male CDU soccer players aged 18-25 years old with tight hamstrings. Three (3) treatment groups were used, namely: dynamic stretching alone (Group A), dynamic stretching with hot moist packs (Group B) and dynamic stretching with cold packs (Group C). The study utilized a randomized, controlled trial design. The outcome measures used were the sit and reach test, T-test and 20-meter speed test.
The pretest measurement results of each group were as follows: the mean pretest on hamstring flexibility on Group A was 10.0 inches ± 3.13, Group B with 9.06 inches ± 3.64 and Group C with 11.96 inches ± 2.88. The mean pretest Agility of Group A was 15.09 seconds ± 2.25, Group B with 15.84 seconds ± 3.21 and Group C with 14.22 seconds ± 1.92. The mean Pretest Speed of Group A was 3.60 ±0.13, Group B with 4.5 ±0.67 and Group C with 3.44 ± 0.35. Whereas the posttest measurement were as follows: The mean Posttest Hamstring flexibility of Group A was 12.50 inches ± 2.80, Group B with 11.36 inches ± 3.24 and Group C with 13.89 inches ± 2.64. The mean Posttest Agility of Group A was 14.60 seconds ± 1.93, Group B with 15.28 seconds ± 2.79 and Group C with 13.42 seconds ± 1.61. The mean Posttest Speed of Group A was 3.51±0.30, Group B with 3.86 ±0.57 and Group C with 3.38 ± 0.32. There was no significant difference in the mean pretest and posttest measurement among the three (3) treatment groups. One-Way ANOVA was used to determine the significant difference in the mean change of scores from pretest to posttest on hamstring flexibility, agility and speed. Hamstring flexibility has a p-value of 0.524 and fvalue of (2.33)=1.608, agility with a p-value of 0.595 and f-value of (2.33)=1.252 and speed with a p-value of 0.198 and f-value of (2.33)=1.252 that showed no significance among the three (3) treatment groups.
In conclusion, thermal agents as an adjunct to dynamic stretching have no acute effect on hamstring flexibility, agility and speed. The researchers recommend the practical use of dynamic stretching to be incorporated in athletes' training without having to necessarily use thermal agents before the game to improve performance. It is also recommended that the use of dynamic stretching protocol be applied in the Physical Therapy practice for an effective yet time efficient stretching management if the goal is to enhance performance prior to exercise. Future studies should focus on studying through a range of soccer specific exercises designed to address both the common and unique characteristics of each of these soccer components. Although the results showed no significant difference on hamstring flexibility, agility and speed with or without thermal agents, these do not invalidate the effects of thermal agents on muscle length and performance since the study may have been insufficient in terms of duration, number of sessions, choice of application or individual performance of the subjects during intervention to promote significant improvements. Hence, future studies should also focus on these aspects.
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