Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Exercise -- physiology; Muscles -- physiology; Pliability


Virtually every athlete engages in some form of stretching before beginning a training routine or competitive event. Stretching is an integral component of endless physical therapy treatment programs for muscle strains, ligament sprains, fibromyalgia protocols, and joint replacements to name a few. However, the physiological effect of stretching and the best method for producing the desired outcome is often questioned by coaches, athletes, and therapists.

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of static stretching and ballistic stretching individually and in conjunction with modalities. Muscle physiology, the benefits of flexibility, and the psychological and physiological effects of warm-ups and cool-downs are also discussed.

After reading this paper, a therapist should be better prepared to choose the most appropriate muscle flexibility program for his/her patient.