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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Study Spotlight: Self Myofascial Release vs. IASTM on Vertical and Horizontal Power

By: Joel Luedke

Soft tissue work can be really beneficial in both the prevention and recovery of injury.  Could it also be helpful in increasing performance in both vertical and horizontal power? This Study Spotlight takes a look a couple different versions of soft tissue work and exactly how it
corresponds to power output.

What They Did:
This study looked at whether doing pre-exercise self myofascial release (SMR) and instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) would improve performance on measures of vertical jump height and 40 yard sprint time in recreational.  They also took a look at perceived pain levels.  Both soft tissue work groups had work done on the quadriceps, hamstrings and gastroc-soleus complex.

What They Found:
There was no interaction between the massage intervention between the massage intervention and sex for both the vertical jump and 40 yard sprint tests. There was a significant main effect for vertical jump.

What It All Means:
This study is in interesting as it corresponds with a previous Study Spotlight on Dry Needling and vertical jump.  While the results of the study show some promise that you can increase your performance with simple techniques there are a couple things to take into account here when it comes to athletics and performance.

In the study the researchers used a 5 minute bike warm up followed directly by soft tissue work in either group and then the performance of the task of vertical jump or 40 yard dash.   In the world of  'proper' warm ups we don't believe that this would count as something that would count and by just doing a more extensive and intensive warm up on its own could yield some of the same results that this study did with simple myofascial release.

The utilization of recreational athletes is also something to take into account with this study.  You can't take the results of this study and do a blanket application to all athletes.  If it were that simple to get a performance increase I think there would be more occurring in athletics when it comes to targeted soft tissue work to increase athletic performance.  The results of this study give ideas that soft tissue work can show benefits to performance but be careful in applying it to everyone.

Limitations:
As we mentioned above, the biggest limitation in this study is to be careful to not apply this one to everyone and every situation as the way the study was run doesn't fully mimic 'proper' athletic warm up.  Further research with extended periods of warm up and different sets of athletes could provide more information as we move forward.

Resource: Stroiney, D. Examination of self-myofascial release vs instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization techniques on vertical and horizontal power in recreational athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2018.
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