In the last decade self myofascial release (SMR) has become an increasingly common modality to supplement traditional methods of massage, so a masseuse is not necessary. However, there is limited clinical data demonstrating the efficacy or mechanism of this treatment on athletic performance .The purpose of this study was to determine whether the use of myofascial rollers before athletic tests can enhance performance.
Twenty-six (13 men and 13 women) healthy college aged individuals (21.56±2.04 years, 23.97±3.98 body mass index (BMI), 20.57±12.21 percent body fat) were recruited. The study design was a randomized, crossover design in which subject performed a series of planking exercises or foam rolling exercises then performed a series of athletic performance tests (vertical jump height and power, isometric force, and agility.) Fatigue, soreness, and exertion were also measured.
A 2 x 2 (Trial x Gender) ANOVA with repeated measures and appropriate post-hoc was used to analyze the data. There were no significant differences between foam rolling and planking for all four of the athletic tests. However, there was a significant difference between genders on all of the athletic tests (p ≤ 0.001).
As expected there were significant increases from pre to post during both trials for fatigue, soreness, and exertion (p ≤ 0.01). Post-exercise fatigue after foam rolling was significantly less than after the subjects performed planking (p ≤ 0.05). The reduced feeling of fatigue may allow participants to extend acute workout time and volume, which can lead to chronic performance enhancements. However, foam rolling had no affect on performance.
J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Apr 12. [Epub ahead of print]
The Effects of Myofascial Release with Foam Rolling on Performance.
Healey KC, Hatfield DL, Blanpied P, Dorfman LR, Riebe D.
1Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Rhode Island, South Kingston, RI 02881, USA 2Department of Physical Therapy, University of Rhode Island, South Kingston, RI 02881, USA.