Healey K, Dorfman L, Riebe D, Blanpied P, Hatfield D.Journal of Strength And Conditioning Research 25, Supplement 1. 2011
Who: 26 healthy college aged individuals with normal BMI, divided into two groups.
What: Each group came in on two different days and performed a standard dynamic warm up (walking lunges, walking knee to chest, side squats, walking butt kicks, frankensteins and penny kickers) followed by either 30 seconds of foam rolling on quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, latissimus dorsi and the rhomboids the lower limb and back or light “planking” for the same time period
Results: There was no significant difference between foam rolling or planking on vertical jump power, vertical jump height, isometric force production, 47 yard sprint or the pro-agility test performed after the two mentioned activities.
Did the participants need the foam rolling (i.e did they have trigger points, myofascial adhesions etc? Would we expect SMFR to be an effective modality if the athlete/client did not have any trigger points/myofascial adhesions etc?
If they had trigger points myofascial adhesions etc, was the tissue released within 30 seconds? A key challenge for strength coaches and personal trainers with respect to self myofascial release is not to prescribe a certain time or a certain amount of repetitions (as we are used to) but rather to educate our athlete and clients to roll until the release is felt.
Practical Application: In my opinion a key take home message from this particular study is that SMFR might NOT have an effect on subsequent performance. For SMFR to work it must be done right!
PS: Take a look at the Yes To Strength recommended SMFR tools here.