The Effects of Self-Myofascial Release and Static Stretching on Acute Hamstrings Range of Motion
Master of Science in Education
Department or Program
Becque, Motier D.
Despite the chronic effects of self-myofascial release (SMR) techniques such as foam rolling (FR) on flexibility, few studies have examined its acute effects when performed for durations equaling static stretching (SS) warm-up recommendations shown to enhance range of motion (ROM) absent muscle performance deficits. Purpose: This study aimed to compare the acute effects of short-duration (30 s per muscle group) SMR via FR and SS on hamstrings ROM. Methodology: University students were quasi-randomly allocated to a FR (n = 12; age, 21.58 ± 3.06 yr; height, 172.22 ± 12.03 cm; weight, 164.22 ± 41.80 lb), SS (n = 13; age, 22.08 ± 2.25 yr; height, 171.06 ± 8.31 cm; weight, 168.75 ± 27.21 lb), or control (CON) group (n = 11; age, 21.82 ± 2.32 yr; height, 168.84 ± 8.97 cm; weight, 158.75 ± 34.42 lb) to perform a short bout of FR or SS targeting all major thigh muscle groups or to sit comfortably in the CON immediately following and prior to a hamstrings ROM assessment (Modified Sit-and-Reach test). Results: Each condition led to ROM improvements (main effect of time, p < 0.001), but these improvements were independent of group allocation. Compared to CON, improvements were greater only after FR, but when comparing interventions, improvements were similar. Conclusion: One bout of short-duration FR and SS were equally effective at eliciting acute hamstrings ROM enhancements. FR therefore exists as a viable alternative to SS for acute ROM improvements when performed in the very short-duration.