Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Study Spotlight: Effect of Varying Self Myofasical Release Duration on Subsequent Athletic Performance

By: Joel Luedke

Soft myofascial release (soft tissue work/foam rolling) can be very effective for many things if it is applied properly.  It can reduce tightness/soreness, increase ROM, and potentially aid in increasing performance.  As with most things though if you do too much you could potentially get results you weren't looking for.  This Study Spotlight looks at different durations and their effects.

What They Did: 
Researching looked at ankle and knee ROM assessments using modified weight bearing and kneeling lunge.  They also tested vertical jump and pro agility performance.  All the tests were conducted before and immediately after one minute self myofascial release (SMR), five minute SMR or after a control condition.  The SMR was done on the quadriceps and triceps surae (calves) using a standardized protocol and foam roller. 

What They Found:
Overall what the researchers found was that ROM increased in the SMR either in the one minute or 5 minute group compared to control.  The also found that pro agility time improved slightly following SMR but decreased following the control or SMR of 5 minutes.  There was also a decrease in vertical jump after 5 minutes of SMR and changed little after SMR of 1 minute or the control.

What It All Means:
Foam rolling can be effective for many things but the dosing of use is very important.  Most things that can be good for you can turn very bad for you if you do too much of it.  Self myofascial release is no different.

Depending on your goals you need to roll appropriately.  If you are looking for increases in ROM that is great, go a little longer (2-5 minutes) but we would recommend not doing so before you are trying to participate or train for an important athletic event.  As the results show if you do too much work too long it can have detrimental effects on your body's ability to perform explosive tasks (vertical jump and pro agility in this case.  

That doesn't mean you can't work on a tight spot before you want to do something athletic you just need to be sure that when you do it it is short duration, less than a minute, and you then you shouldn't have to worry about decreases in performance.  Use the foam roller or other tool as you need too but be cognizant of how much, how often, based on your goals.

Source: Phillips, J.  The Effect of Varying Self-myofascial release duration on Subsequent Athletic Performance.  Board #116

No comments: