110 - Foam Rolling For Your Fitness

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Most people are familiar with foam rollers, but do they really help?

Debates exist around whether we should foam roll before, after or even in place of certain workout routines.

Increased blood flow, IT band pain, or even enhanced recovery are some of the claims...

Are we giving this training tool too much credit?

Let’s talk through the research and caveats!


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Research Citations

Acute effects of The Stick on strength, power, and flexibility. Mikesky AE, Bahamonde RE, Stanton K, Alvey T, Fitton T. J Strength Cond Res. 2002 Aug; 16(3):446-50

An acute bout of self-myofascial release increases range of motion without a subsequent decrease in muscle activation or force. MacDonald GZ, Penney MD, Mullaley ME, Cuconato AL, Drake CD, Behm DG, Button DC. J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Mar; 27 (3) :812-21

Specific and cross over effects of massage for muscle soreness: randomized controlled trial. Jay K, Sundstrup E, Søndergaard SD, Behm D, Brandt M, Særvoll CA, Jakobsen MD, Andersen LL. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2014 Feb;9(1):82-91.

Roller-Massager Application to the Hamstrings Increases Sit-and-Reach Range of Motion within Five to Ten Seconds Without Performance Impairments. Kathleen M. Sullivan, Dustin B.J. Silvey, Duane C. Button, David G. Behm. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2013 Jun; 8(3): 228–236.

Effects of Foam Rolling and Static Stretching on Flexibility and Acute Muscle Soreness. IJES Vol 6 (2013). Iss 4. Howe, E., Lininger, A., Schlegel, L., Harwell, A., Paulson, S., Braun, W., Sanders, J. Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, PA.

Roller-massager application to the quadriceps and knee-joint range of motion and neuromuscular efficiency during a lunge. Bradbury-Squires DJ, Noftall JC, Sullivan KM, Behm DG, Power KE, Button DC. J Athl Train. 2015 Feb;50(2):133-40. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-49.5.03. Epub 2014 Nov 21.

The effect of Foam roller exercise and Nano particle in speeding of healing of sport injuries. Amany Waheed Ebrahim and Abeer Waheed Abd Elghany. J Am Sci 2013; 9(6): 450-458].

Effect of foam rolling and static stretching on passive hip-flexion range of motion. Mohr AR, Long BC, Goad CL. J Sport Rehabil. 2014 Nov;23(4):296-9. Epub 2014 Jan 21.

Roller massager improves range of motion of plantar flexor muscles without subsequent decreases in force parameters. Halperin I, Aboodarda SJ, Button DC, Andersen LL, Behm DG. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2014 Feb;9(1):92-102.