The effect of static stretching on lactate removal during recovery from high intensity exercise

Kevin T Pitt, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of static stretching on lactate removal following high intensity exercise to a passive and a low intensity cycling recovery. Eight male subjects, ages 19-50, with an average VO2{dollar}\sb\max{dollar} of 46.1 {dollar}\pm{dollar} 8.2 ml/kg.min., performed a high intensity cycling protocol followed by one of the three possible recovery periods: sitting, stretching, or cycling. To determine blood lactate concentration, a fingertip blood sample was taken at minute 0, 3, 8, 16, 24, and 32 of the recovery periods. Blood lactate was significantly lower in the cycling and stretching recoveries versus the sitting recovery. Compared to the sitting recovery, lactate half-time was 44% faster in the cycling recovery and 24% faster in the stretching recovery. These results indicate that stretching provides moderate benefits in the reduction of lactate following exercise.