Behara, B and Jacobson, BH. Acute effects of deep tissue foam rolling and dynamic stretching on muscular strength, power, and flexibility in Division I linemen. J Strength Cond Res 31(4): 888–892, 2017—A recent strategy to increase sports performance is a self-massage technique called myofascial release using foam rollers. Myofascial restrictions are believed to be brought on by injuries, muscle imbalances, overrecruitment, and/or inflammation, all of which can decrease sports performance. The purpose of this study was to compare the acute effects of a single-bout of lower extremity self-myofascial release using a custom deep tissue roller (DTR) and a dynamic stretch protocol. Subjects consisted of NCAA Division 1 offensive linemen (n = 14) at a Midwestern university. All players were briefed on the objectives of the study and subsequently signed an approved IRB consent document. A randomized crossover design was used to assess each dependent variable (vertical jump [VJ] power and velocity, knee isometric torque, and hip range of motion was assessed before and after: [a] no treatment, [b] deep tissue foam rolling, and [c] dynamic stretching). Results of repeated-measures analysis of variance yielded no pretest to posttest significant differences (p > 0.05) among the groups for VJ peak power (p = 0.45), VJ average power (p = 0.16), VJ peak velocity (p = 0.25), VJ average velocity (p = 0.23), peak knee extension torque (p = 0.63), average knee extension torque (p = 0.11), peak knee flexion torque (p = 0.63), or average knee flexion torque (p = 0.22). However, hip flexibility was statistically significant when tested after both dynamic stretching and foam rolling (p = 0.0001). Although no changes in strength or power was evident, increased flexibility after DTR may be used interchangeably with traditional stretching exercises.
Health and Human Performance Laboratory, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Address correspondence to Bert H. Jacobson, Bert.email@example.com.