Foam Rolling Research

foam roller research

Foam rolling research is still very new!!

Self myofascial release, or foam rolling is still in it’s infancy as a corrective exercise technique and as such is a current topic of trending research. Whilst foam rolling has many benefits it’s always good to get research to back up those claims, and in January 2014, a Canadian study showed that foam rolling benefits not only range of motion, but can also help with muscle soreness and improve athletic performance.

The study by researchers at the School of Human kinetics and recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, CA took subjects and randomly assigned them to either a control group or foam rolling group. The groups then proceeded through the testing protocol. Both of the groups did the same 10 sets of 10 repetitions back squat work out. There was only one difference between the groups, the foam rolling group performed a 20-minute foam rolling exercise sequence at the end of each testing session.

The results of the study showed that compared to the control group the foam rolling was beneficial to soothing muscle soreness while improving vertical jump height, muscle activation and passive and dynamic range of motion. There was also found to be a marked improvement in electromechanical delay in the foam rolling group also. Electromechanical delay is the delay between muscle activation and force production, this benefit is hypothesized to perhaps be from the increased neural response between connective tissue when using a foam roller.

This research backs up previous studies done by the University showing that Self myofascial release of the quadriceps increases range of movement in the knee joint without any decrease in muscle activation or force. The participants in the study increased their range of motion in the knee by 10°. Not only did the range of motion improve but also the force they exerted through the movement.

Bottom line these studies show that foam rolling helps with range of motion which in turns means a more effective exercise can be performed. So if you want to improve your technique foam rolling can definitely be beneficial.


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