International Journal of Social Science and Human Behavior Study
Author(s) : ESTHER LIYANAGE, HAIRUL ANUAR HASHIM, MOHD. NIDZAM MAT JAWIS, OLEKSANDR KRASILSHCHIKOV
Background: Flexibility is an important physical fitness marker playing a vital role in maintaining normal biomechanical function in sports and activities of daily life. Inadequate flexibility is a causative factor that may lead to muscle injury, particularly if the hamstring group of muscles is involved. Objective: To compare the effectiveness of Post-isometric relaxation (PIR) and Static Stretching (SS) on hamstring flexibility among young children. Materials and Methods: One hundred and twenty 9 to 11 years old children identified as having hamstrings tightness assessed by passive straight leg raise test were recruited and allocated into three groups: post-isometric relaxation, static stretching and control group. Both intervention groups performed stretching and the control group was not involved in any stretching programme. The exercises were performed for 5 days in a week for six weeks. Passive straight leg raise test was used to assess hamstring flexibility and the measurement was conducted pre- and post- intervention at the end of six weeks programme. Results: A mixed ANOVA and post hoc analysis using Bonferroni adjustments was used for comparisons of the effectiveness of the stretching methods at the end of six weeks. The results demonstrated improvements in the post isometric relaxation and static stretching groups as compared to the control group (p < 0.01). The post isometric relaxation group showed higher gains in hamstring flexibility compared to the static stretching group (p < 0.05). Also, there was significant improvement in hamstring flexibility within both the intervention groups at the end of six weeks (p < 0.01). However, there were no significant changes in hamstring flexibility in the control group (p > 0.05). Conclusion: Post-isometric relaxation is more effective than static stretching in improving hamstring flexibility among healthy young children apparently asymptomatic for hamstring tightness. This knowledge can help teachers and physical training assistants in implementing stretching programmes in schools.