Foam Rolling and Performance
Foam rolling is a popular method used to relax sore muscles. It can be found a lot in training rooms in high schools and colleges for athletes or in clinics for the elderly population. Foam rolling is found among a wide variety of people. If one is sore from a workout or daily activities, the roller can be used on the spots where there is tenderness or soreness. The foam roller is easy to apply pressure to sensitive areas in muscles such as knots. The idea is for one to be able to perform the therapy on oneself since the location of the pain is known. Foam rolling remains controversial due to other methods that may have better results in relieving pain or soreness before or after physical activity. Other methods that can be used are massage, electronic muscle stimulation, and stretching. These methods can all be used to improve one’s performance and help with recovery by relieving pain and soreness from the area that is causing pain. But which method is best to use? Jamie Hale (2003) says that massage is used for both pre and post competition or physical activity. “It helps with injuries and has been shown to accelerate the recovery of injured muscles”. Andy Pruitt, Certified Athletic Trainer and Director of Sports Medicine of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, advises that massage therapy for muscle damage should not be performed immediately after the injury. This would only worsen the condition. He recommends that massage therapy should not be given any sooner than 48 hours after the injury occurs. Stretching, when done properly, is a method that helps by preventing muscle stiffness and soreness. Stretching helps to rush nutrients to the muscles and like foam rolling, it allows the body time to prepare for exercise. Stretching after a workout helps to relieve the body of muscle soreness and stiffness. Stretching after exercise also helps to flush out waste products from the muscles. Electronic muscle stimulation strength training tool for healthy subjects and athletes; a rehabilitation and preventive tool for partially or totally immobilized patients and a post-exercise recovery tool for athletes. When compared to foam rolling Foam rolling is a good way to smooth and lengthen ones muscles to help with performance. Foam rolling can sometimes be painful but it is a good way to release any stress so it can prevent you from any buildup of scar tissue. Exercise can cause micro tears and swelling in muscle fibers, which can impact nerves and vessels. Over time, this can develop into adhesions and scar tissue. Foam rolling helps smooth out these obstacles, helping to increase blood-flow within the muscle. The question is does foam rolling actually help performance? A study shows that it is better to use after activity because it helps with range of motion and recovery of muscles. (Healey, K. et al.) The study is one of the first peer reviewed studies on self-myofascial release while using a foam roller and shows that foam rolling works. Foam rolling can help improve joint range of motion and overall muscle recovery but does it without losing muscle performance and strength. Some of the benefits of this were how it can be done completely on one’s own and is effective given that it only has to be done for about 30-60 seconds to target the wanted muscle group. The big debate on foam rolling is that it depends on how sore or weak the muscle is. Foam rolling can be helpful with sore muscles but is not a proper method for full recovery depending on how severe the soreness of the muscle is. The roller is meant to smooth out the muscles and help them relax by activating the sensory receptors connecting muscle fibers to tendons. Different methods are used that help with rehabilitation and performance. The main dispute is what the best method to use is. Foam rolling causes debate on whether or not it is a good method to use before performance or not. It does actually help with reducing the...
References: Healey, K., Dorfman, L., Riebe, D., Blanpied, P., & Hatfield, D. (2011). The effects of foam rolling on myofascial release and performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25, 2-S30A,S31.
Jeff Sedona, “What Foam Rolling Really Does For You” (2012 Rodale, Inc.) April 2012
Joshua Wortman, “Health and Fitness News: Does Foam Rolling Really Work?” ( 2013 Breaking Muscle)
MacDonald, G. Z., Penney, M. D. H., Mullaley, M. E., Cuconato, A. L., Drake, C. D. J., Behm, D. G., & Button, D. C. (2013). An acute bout of self-myofascial release increases range of motion without a subsequent decrease in muscle activation or force. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research / National Strength & Conditioning Association, 27(3), 812-821.
Sean Hyson, “Rub Out Soreness With Massage Or Foam Rolling” (2012 Weider Productions)
Please join StudyMode to read the full document